German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to attend the funeral service for former U.S. President, George H W Bush, to be held in the National Cathedral in Washington, Merkel’s spokesman announced in Berlin on Monday.
Merkel is to fly to Washington on Tuesday to attend the service on Wednesday, before returning immediately afterwards to Berlin.
Asked whether any meetings were planned on the sidelines, the government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said it remained to be seen whether any opportunity would arise before or during the funeral service.
The aim of the trip was to express Germany’s condolences to the people of the U.S., he said.
Bush, a strong backer of German reunification during his time in office, died at his Houston home on Friday at the age of 94.
He served as the 41st U.S. president between 1989 and 1993, presiding over the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In her letter of condolence, Merkel termed Bush a `stroke of luck in German history,’’ praising his role in transatlantic relations.