Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met his US counterpart Mike Pompeo in Berlin on Friday (31 May). Their talks focused on international crises that are making the world ever more dangerous. How can Germany and the US work together to find solutions? Foreign Minister Maas agreed the following three points with his US counterpart.
Peace for Ukraine
Germany and the US continue to stand resolutely shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine. Foreign Minister Maas had just returned from a visit to Kyiv the previous day. Berlin and Washington firmly believe that the Minsk Agreement is, and will remain, the foundation for peace. Its rules must be met by all sides. To this end, Normandy format (Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia) talks must take place again as soon as possible.
Peace talks for Afghanistan
Germany is working with the US to get a new peace process for Afghanistan off the ground. To achieve this, talks have also been taking place for some time with representatives of the Taliban. Germany sees this as an important step. It is now vital to launch direct talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban. Germany is willing to support this path via diplomatic channels. Foreign Minister Maas and Secretary of State Pompeo agreed that there would be close coordination on this issue.
Discussion on the situation in the Middle East
The situation in the Middle East was also on the agenda. Germany and the US agree that it is crucial for the region’s security that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. Foreign Minister Maas told his US counterpart that Europe regards the nuclear agreement with Iran (JCPOA) as the best way to ensure this. The agreement has been effective in preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Maas underlined that the JCPOA makes the region safer so long as Tehran adheres to the agreed rules. The two Foreign Ministers agreed to remain in close contact on this matter.