April 20, 2016 / 11:47 AM / 2 years ago

Germany to host European leaders' meeting with Obama on Monday

BERLIN/LONDON (Reuters) - German Chancellor Merkel will host a meeting of the leaders of Britain, France and Italy with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday to discuss global issues, a government spokeswoman said.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the memorial service for victims of the attack on the Bardo Mudeum in Tunis and the Tunisian holiday resort of Port El Kantaoui in Sousse, at Westminster Abbey in central London, April 12, 2016. REUTER/Stefan Wermuth

Obama is due to visit Merkel in Hanover for what German government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said would likely be their last meeting while he is president, and they decided to use the opportunity to meet other European leaders too.

“The U.S. president is not in Europe every month and this is a good opportunity for, in this case, the four European government and state leaders to have an exchange with the American president,” Wirtz said in Berlin on Wednesday.

“There are plenty of issues, if you look at the situation in Syria, Libya, and with refugees for example,” she told a regular government news conference, adding that this would likely be the last time Merkel would meet Obama while he is president.

Wirtz said there was no formal agenda for the meeting and could not say whether a news conference would follow.

Asked whether Merkel and Obama would discuss the Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) emissions scandal, Wirtz said she could neither confirm they would address the issue nor rule that out.

The leaders will meet in Hanover’s Schloss Herrenhausen, a former royal palace bombed in World War Two and only reopened in 2013.

In London, Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said the meeting of the leaders from the so-called G5 would be a chance “to talk about how we work together to tackle the many shared challenges we face”.

“We expect defeating Daesh, supporting a new government in Libya and tackling migration to dominate the agenda,” Cameron’s office said in the statement.

Reporting by William James in London and Paul Carrel in Berlin; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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