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Obama Feted in Berlin as He Praises Merkel Before Trump Summits

  • Backs German leader’s liberal stance, warns on Obamacare
  • Ex-president shares stage as Merkel seeks fourth term
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appear in Berlin on May 25, 2017.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appear in Berlin on May 25, 2017.

Photographer: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama praised Angela Merkel’s leadership and encouraged her to stand up for a liberal world order, hours before the German chancellor was meeting his successor Donald Trump at a NATO summit.

Merkel, who’s running for a fourth term this year, took up topics from refugees and conflicts in the Arab world to religious tolerance as she shared the stage with Obama at a Lutheran church rally at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Obama, at his first public event with a foreign leader since leaving office, warned that his health-care legacy is “imperiled” and backed Merkel in a dispute over defense spending with Trump, saying that spending on security should be defined more broadly than the military budget.