It has often seemed like Barack Obama’s bond with Angela Merkel is based on the exchange of services. But according to several aides, the two share a deep bond that has permitted them to counter domestic and global storms and even clashes with each other.

Merkel is the only leader of a chief ally whose tenure has covered Obama’s presidency.

“This is as important a relationship as I’ve had during the course of my presidency,” Obama said. He described Merkel as consistent, steady and trustworthy, says LA Times.

Yesterday in Hanover, Merkel was asked to reminisce about her cherished moments with Obama during the seven years of his presidency.

Her reply was short and unsentimental. It was calm enough to understand that she has become Obama’s most intimate overseas ally.

ALSO READ: EU Reforms: Angela Merkel Backs David Cameron

She is also the president’s political and ideological companion on crucial issues such as Syria, terrorism and containing Russian hostility in Ukraine.

Although Time has separated them, I think these two are the Persons of the Year! #ObamaMerkel

A photo posted by Ramathan Ggoobi (@rggoobi) on

She brushed off the question by saying that they are actually quite busy with the conflicts that they need to solve in the world.

“I am not in position to take stock today,” Merkel replied.

Obama is known for speaking not less than full and frequently extravagant paragraphs. Hearing her reply, Obama gave a broad smile and utilised the moment to pay Merkel a compliment.

“She has a really good sense of humor that she doesn’t show all the time at press conferences,” he said.

“She’s a little more — she’s much more serious in front of all of you.”

According to a senior administration official, they may not display overt personal chemistry but in some ways, they are more attuned than Obama is with other world leaders.

ALSO READ: Angela Merkel Admits Her Refugee Policy is Hurting Germany, ‘She Has To Go’

Both are calm, deliberate and eager while finding solutions, says Washington Post.

On Sunday, Merkel was responding to a question about resolving the Syrian crisis, in detail. At that moment, Obama looked at her admiringly while nodding vigorously at the point she made.

It was reported that he has learned from Merkel that she reflects the leadership qualities he admired most, mainly her pragmatism.