President Joe Biden poses for his official portrait Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in the Library of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Biden, Merkel to discuss Afghanistan, Russia, Cyber-attacks — Official

U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would discuss matters concerning Afghanistan, Russia and cyber-attacks, among others.

The discussion would hold at the White House later on Thursday, a senior U.S. official said.

“I expect they will discuss the full range of shared security challenges, including Afghanistan, Libya, and the Sahel.

“I expect the leaders also will discuss shared ways to respond to regional challenges, including addressing Russian cyber-attacks, territorial aggression, countering China’s rising influence non-market economic practices and human rights abuses.

“This includes forced labour, support for Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity and also bolstering the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the western Balkan countries,” the official told reporters.

Moscow had repeatedly denied allegations Russia played a role in recent cyber-attacks against U.S. infrastructure and businesses