On Tuesday (20 January) Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met his Mexican opposite number José Antonio Meade Kuribreña to discuss plans to further intensify cooperation between Germany and Mexico. Steinmeier said that one goal was to establish a binational commission which would meet for the first time in summer 2015. They also discussed regional issues, for example in connection with Cuba.
The two foreign ministers last met in July 2014 during Steinmeier’s visit to Mexico on what was the German Foreign Minister's first trip to Latin America. In addition to political talks, the visit was also intended to spotlight the German business community’s manifold presence in the country. During their talks at the Federal Foreign Office on Tuesday (20 January) the two foreign ministers identified further potential in the bilateral relationship.
Culture: Germany Year in Mexico
At a joint press conference at the start of their meeting Foreign Minister Meade described relations with Germany as very extensive and significant. In Mexico Steinmeier had already underscored his desire “to step up the comprehensive partnership between Germany and Mexico”. Meeting again in Berlin, the foreign ministers now announced June 2015 as the date for the first session of the binational commission, chaired by the two Foreign Ministries. They explained that its goal was to pursue joint projects in many policy areas, including environmental policy, climate protection and energy issues.
Cultural cooperation was also on the agenda, alongside business and politics. Steinmeier stated that in 2016 and 2017 there would be both a Germany Year in Mexico and a Mexico Year in Germany.
Germany also appalled by Iguala
The German Foreign Minister also stressed that they would discuss the challenges faced by Mexico following the murder of dozens of students in Iguala. “People throughout the world, and also, of course, here in Germany, were deeply appalled by the incident.” Steinmeier explained how important it was that the law enforcement agencies had become actively involved and helped to investigate the incident. The Foreign Minister added that Germany had offered to help with further investigations, for example with identifying victims.
During the visit to the Federal Foreign Office, the two foreign ministers set aside a little time to look back on their joint history. To this end the Head of the Political Archive, Elke Freifrau von Boeselager, shared background information on historic documents, such as a communication concerning the donation of a statue to commemorate the centenary of Mexican independence.