German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is making a surprise visit to Washington to meet with US President Joe Biden, according to the White House. The meeting will focus on reaffirming their close coordination as NATO Allies, particularly on issues like defending democratic values and supporting Ukraine in its resistance against Russia’s invasion.

Steinmeier’s visit comes at Biden’s invitation and marks their first meeting since he became Germany’s head of state. The White House cited German-American Day as the official reason for the visit, a day commemorating the arrival of the first German settlers in Philadelphia in 1683.

Support for Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion is expected to be a crucial topic of discussion, although the recent US interim budget did not allocate additional aid for Ukraine. Nonetheless, the US commitment to assisting Ukraine is still in place, with efforts to secure continued support.

Notably, Steinmeier avoided visiting Washington during the tenure of former President Donald Trump due to previous tensions between the two leaders. During the 2016 US presidential campaign, Steinmeier, while serving as German foreign minister, had criticized Trump, referring to him as a “hate preacher” and opposing Trump’s “America First” policy, which often clashed with established international norms.