Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, soon to be foreign minister, will meet the vice president of the United States Mike Pence and designated Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next week, government sources told Handelsblatt on Friday, according to current plans.
Mr. Gabriel will fly to the United States in the middle of next week, visiting Washington D.C. and New York City, people familiar with the matter told Handelsblatt. He will meet with United Nations officials in New York.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump are expected to talk by phone already on Saturday, news agency Reuters reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. Russia and Ukraine are likely to be topics of discussions, the person said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to meet Mr. Trump later on Friday in Washington.
Mr. Gabriel, who is currently economics minister, will officially switch posts to become foreign minister on Friday afternoon, when Frank-Walter Steinmeier resigns.
Next month, Mr. Steinmeier is set to become Germany's new president, a mostly ceremonial role, succeeding Joachim Gauck.
Mr. Gabriel announced this week that he was stepping down as leader of the center-left Social Democrats and would not run against Ms. Merkel in September. Instead Martin Schulz, the former European Parliament president, will be her challenger.
Dana Heide is a political correspondent for Handelsblatt in Berlin, focusing on the economics ministry, digital policies, the Free Democratic Party, small and medium-sized companies and innovation. To contact the author: [email protected]