Foreign Minister Steinmeier met his US counterpart John Kerry in Vienna on 13 July on the margins of the E3+3 negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme. At a joint press conference, Steinmeier stated that German-American relations were necessary and indispensable.
The main purpose of the visit by the Foreign Ministers from Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the United States (the E3+3 states) was to assess the current situation. Under the Geneva Joint Plan of Action, the states involved are to reach an agreement by 20 July which ensures that Iran uses nuclear energy solely for civilian purposes. During the negotiations, Foreign Minister Steinmeier also had bilateral talks with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
The ball is in Iran’s court
After the negotiations, Steinmeier reaffirmed that he and his counterparts from the United States, France and Britain had done “everything in their power” to try and convince Iran of the advantages of a joint solution. Now the country had to decide for itself whether to cooperate with the international community or whether it preferred to remain isolated. The German Foreign Minister said he hoped Tehran would “stop and think”: “The ball is in Iran’s court now.”
Cooperation is necessary
Steinmeier also had talks with his US counterpart John Kerry on the fringes of the E3+3 meeting. In a joint press conference, the German Foreign Minister stressed that the current crises in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Iran showed that viable transatlantic relations and German-American cooperation are necessary if these conflicts are to be brought closer to a political solution.
Referring to the US spying affair in Germany, Steinmeier added:
I am saying this also with a view to the difficulties that have emerged in the past few weeks in our bilateral cooperation. We are aware of these concerns and we have talked about them. However, German-American relations are necessary and indispensable for both sides, especially in light of the conflicts around us. That is why we want to work towards reviving these relations on the basis of mutual trust and respect.
US State Secretary John Kerry stated that the relationship between the United States and Germany was a strategic one and based on enormous political cooperation.