Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is travelling to the United States on Wednesday (23 January). In Washington, DC, he will hold talks with his US counterpart Michael Pompeo. A meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is also on the agenda.
Strengthening and recalibrating the partnership
Strengthening and, where necessary, recalibrating the partnership is one of the Foreign Minister’s top priorities. “Our aim is to find new ways to work together – not new ways to oppose one another,” Maas emphasised before his departure. Close cooperation with the United States, particularly on security issues, is crucial for the Federal Government. Maas will therefore engage in in-depth talks with Secretary of State Pompeo on the situations in Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty puts it in jeopardy
In view of the potential collapse of the INF Treaty, the talks in the US capital will also focus particularly on the issues of disarmament and arms control. In the INF Treaty, the US and the Soviet Union agreed in 1987 to destroy existing ground-launched intermediate-range missiles and to ban possession of ground-launched systems. Despite this, however, Russia has developed ground-launched cruise missiles and fielded them in its armed forces in recent years. Calls from the West to clear up these allegations have been ignored in Moscow for years.
During a visit to Moscow last week, Foreign Minister Maas urgently called upon Russia to salvage the Treaty. Maas stated that the only way to achieve this would be the verifiable dismantling of the weapons systems violating the agreement.
Fresh impetus for arms control
On this issue, the Federal Government is counting on close coordination with NATO partners. In Washington, Foreign Minister Maas will also work to set in motion new international talks on arms control above and beyond the INF Treaty.