These are not easy times for transatlantic relations. The US Administration’s reservations regarding multilateralism are compelling Germany to adapt the partnership to the new situation. It is therefore important right now to invest more effort in dialogue with the United States. Towards the end of August, Heiko Maas called in a newspaper article for a more balanced partnership. Today he is the US capital to meet with interlocutors including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the President’s National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Maas made the following remarks after his meeting with Secretary of State Pompeo:
We had a good conversation. Direct contact with Washington remains the basis of our work on almost all international issues. Only together will we make progress on the issues of concern to us both.
The Vienna agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme is one such issue. Even if the deal is not perfect, Europe remains committed to it since it has proven effective so far.
The conflict in Syria is another key issue for the two foreign ministers. They are both committed to ensuring that the people receive humanitarian assistance and are finally given effective protection, including from chemical attacks. Maas and Pompeo also talked about the next steps needed in a political process.
Official launch of the Deutschlandjahr USA
In the evening, Heiko Maas will attend a launch of a very special kind at the German Ambassador’s Residence. The Deutschlandjahr USA (Year of German American Friendship) begins on the Day of German Unity. In the course of the year, more than 1000 events will be held at locations in all 50 federal states under the slogan Wunderbar together. The Deutschlandjahr is a joint project of the Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut and the Federation of German Industries (BDI). It is a festival designed above all to foster exchange between German and American civil society with a focus on issues such as diversity, managing the digital transformation and the climate. Foreign Minister Maas considers this investment to be particularly important:
Not only do we want to rebalance our political partnership, we also want to invest in the friendship between the American and German people. It will be my pleasure to launch the Deutschlandjahr USA on the Day of German Unity. Our partnership is only as strong as the people who breathe life into it every day. It should now be clear that we cannot assume our friendship is assured – and so we seek to actively promote it.