Germany's president invites Obama to visit his country
Germany's president, Horst Koehler,
congratulated new US President Barack Obama by telegram Tuesday on his
inauguration and invited him to visit Germany soon, dpa reported.
Obama has in effect two counterparts in Germany: Koehler as head of state and Chancellor Angela Merkel as head of government. Merkel had earlier Tuesday welcomed Obama in remarks on German television.
Referring to this year's anniversary of the end of communism in Germany in 1989, Koehler wrote in the message: "It's largely thanks to our American friends that we Germans are celebrating this year our freedom and unification."
A German newspaper, Rheinische Post, reported meanwhile that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had hoped to visit Washington by mid-February to meet the new US secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Washington.