Not even during turbulent times at home does the world stand still: the neverending conflict in eastern Ukraine, the smouldering crisis in the Persian Gulf and the threat posed by North Korea’s missile programme are all pressing foreign policy issues which Foreign Minister Gabriel intends to address in Washington on Thursday (30 November). This is already his fourth visit to the American capital since he took up office in January.
Remaining engaged in debate at all levels
During this trip, Gabriel will once again meet his opposite number Rex Tillerson. Close cooperation with the United States is essential if these conflicts are to be resolved – but not only at administrative level: talks with members of Congress are also on the Agenda.
Framework for security
The future of the nuclear agreement with Iran is currently a matter of particular concern. Gabriel stated prior to his departure, “It is important that all sides strictly implement the agreement: it prevents Iran from producing nuclear weapons, thus making the region safer.” He went on to say that it also had wider implications. “If the agreement fails, it would send a disastrous message with regard to rearmament, both in the region and around the world.” He added that ultimately the aim was to contain conflicts via regulating mechanisms. Gabriel stated he was convinced that, “The latest North Korean missile test highlights once more the potential for escalation when there is no framework for settling a conflict.”