Foreign Minister Heiko Maas received his Swedish colleague Margot Wallström in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on Tuesday (10 April). The talks focused not just on bilateral issues but also on the key global and European challenges.
Shoulder to shoulder on the future of the EU
Maas and Wallström talked about how to push ahead with the reforms needed in the European Union and how to guarantee rule-of-law principles in all member states. On European foreign policy, Germany and Sweden want to continue to work to ensure not just that the common defence policy is bolstered but also that civilian crisis management is strengthened. Combating the surge in populism is also an important topic for the two Foreign Ministers.
Unity on Russia
Maas and Wallström demonstrated unity with a view to Russia’s role in the war in Syria. Maas believes Russia finally needs to live up to its responsibility and force the Assad regime to surrender all chemical weapons and respect the cease-fire. Together with his Swedish colleague, Maas also underscored that the issue of disarmament needs to be placed at the top of the international agenda once more.