-- President Obama arrived in Germany today for the G-7 summit and quickly made his first public stop to share beer with the locals -- all before noon.
"When I first heard [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] was hosting the G-7 in Bavaria, I was hoping that it would fall during Oktoberfest, but then again there's never a bad day for a beer and a weisswurst," Obama said in Kruen, Germany, prior to his beer sampling. "I can't think of a better place to come to celebrate the enduring friendship between the German and the American people."
The president hoisted his beer as he drank and ate pretzels and sausage with locals dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes of lederhosen and dirndl.
The president arrived in the village to the sound of alp horns playing in the scenic town. His stop in Kruen was intended as a celebration of the strong ties between the U.S. and Germany.
"This morning, as we celebrate one of the strongest alliances the world has ever known, my message to the German people is simple: We are grateful for your friendship, for your leadership," he said. "We stand together as inseparable allies in Europe and around the world."
Merkel, who led the president on a tour of the village, echoed the sentiment.
"Although it is true we sometimes have differences of opinion today from time to time, but still the United States of America is our friend, our partner and an essential partner with whom we cooperate very closely," she said.
The president also praised the German culture and even noted one souvenir he wants to pick up while in the country -- lederhosen.
"I have to admit I forgot to bring my lederhosen but I'll see if I can buy some while I'm here," he said.
In a bilateral meeting with Merkel, the two leaders agreed that European sanctions on Russia should continue until the Ukraine ceasefire is fully implemented. This is the second year in a row that G-7 leaders met without Russia.
There was also a strong emphasis on ISIS ahead of Obama's meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday.
In his meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama said the two leaders would "discuss the effort against ISIL -- the situation in Iraq and Syria and assess what's working and what's not and how we can continue to make progress there dismantling the infrastructure that ISIL has built and in promoting political inclusion in Iraq."
Obama's meeting with Cameron was the first time the two men spoke in person since the prime minister won re-election. Obama also gently nudged the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union. Cameron has promised a referendum on the UK's membership in the EU by 2017.
"We are looking forward to the UK staying a part of the EU because we think it's influence is positive not just for Europe but the whole world," the president said.