Jointly tackling international issues: Foreign Minister Maas visits the United Kingdom

Chevening House in Kent

Chevening House is the official guest house of the UK Foreign Secretary, © London News Pictures via ZUMA

22.07.2020 - Article

Germany cooperates closely with the United Kingdom, be it in the United Nations, in NATO or together with France on the Iran dossier.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will meet with his UK counterpart Dominc Raab in a special setting to discuss cooperation on foreign policy issues ranging from the Middle East to China.

Policy on China and Russia, crises in the Near and Middle East, cooperation in NATO

During his visit to the United Kingdom, Minister Maas will hold talks on a number of bilateral and international issues. On the subject of developments in Hong Kong – an issue on which the UK is strongly engaged as its formal colonial power – the aim will be to closely coordinate policy vis‑à‑vis China. The Foreign Ministers will also discuss Russia’s efforts to exert influence in Europe.

Together with France, Germany and the United Kingdom cooperate closely as the so‑called E3. They are the European signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and are committed to ensuring that the agreement remains in force. The two countries also liaise closely on the Middle East peace process. Both have repeatedly voiced their opposition to annexation plans of the Israeli Government and advocate a two‑state solution negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.

Other key issues are cooperation in NATO, current tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, and transatlantic relations – because, also after Brexit, the United Kingdom will remain an important link between the United States and Europe.

What lies ahead after Brexit?

Although their talks will explore future cooperation between Germany and the United Kingdom on foreign policy issues, it is clear that Germany fully supports Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier and the European Commission in their negotiations with the United Kingdom. The German Government sees it as its task to strengthen Barnier’s position and to preserve EU solidarity, including during the critical phase of the negotiations. The aim is to maintain the closest possible relations with the United Kingdom in the future. In Germany’s view, the foundation for this was laid by the Political Declaration of the European Union and the United Kingdom. In discussions with his UK colleague, Foreign Minister Maas is a proponent of close cooperation between Europe and the UK on foreign and security policy matters, also after Brexit.

Regular exchange

Both Foreign Ministers last held talks in mid‑June in Berlin, during the E3 meeting with their French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian. Now, the UK Foreign Secretary has invited his colleague Maas to visit London – or more specifically – South East England. That is where Chevening House, the guest house of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is located. This will be Maas’ first official visit to the UK since Minister Raab assumed office.


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