Wendy Sherman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs at the U.S. State Department, said it’s important that the United States works with the alliance to keep Europe “whole and free.”

“It is the most successful security alliance that the world has ever seen. It has kept Europe at peace. It has helped outside of that theater as well,” she told “Power Lunch.”

And the U.S. can’t discount the fact that Europe is critical to trade and the development of jobs in the U.S., she added.

“We cannot neglect the reality that Germany has created a lot of jobs in America and that’s what President Trump says he’s all about,” said Sherman, now a senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group.

Burns, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, thinks the most important thing to come from the meeting is the fact that the two leaders establish some measure of familiarity and trust.

“Angela Merkel is going to be his most important partner on a variety of economic, political and strategic issues, most notably the effort to contain Vladimir Putin,” he said.

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.


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