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Foreign Minister Steinmeier on his trip to New York and Washington

28.02.2016 - Press release

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin on 28 February ahead of his trip to New York and Washington:

The German-American friendship is a valuable asset, our transatlantic community of shared values indispensable.

Cooperation with the US in the foreign policy field has perhaps never been so close or so imbued with a spirit of partnership than it is today. In these truly turbulent times, in a world which seems to have got out of joint, and also in light of some strident comments made during the American primaries, that is a trump card which we have to value and cherish.

That is why cooperation and exchange across the Atlantic are so important. That is why it is worth the effort consolidating bilateral relations and discussing all issues of importance with such a close partner.

This is what we are doing! We stand united in our crisis policy, liaise very closely and divide tasks. Together with France, Germany has assumed a key role in the Ukraine conflict. The US is leading the way with courage, perseverance and good judgement in the Middle East, especially Syria.

Even though I have certainly seen John Kerry more than a dozen times during the last few months, and we have spoken on the phone even more frequently, taking the time to meet in person to look carefully at the whole range of challenges and conflicts we have to tackle together is of inestimable value.

During my talks in Washington, the key issue will of course be the situation in Syria so shortly after the start of the ceasefire. We want to build on the progress made during the Munich negotiations, which is now becoming visible. However, the refugee crisis, relations with Russia and the situation in Ukraine will also play a major role in my talks.

In New York, I would like to take the opportunity to present the priorities of our OSCE Chairmanship to the UN Security Council and to the U.S. Helsinki Commission. Especially in difficult and turbulent times, we need strong multilateral organisations as platforms for dialogue, as instruments for conflict resolution and as institutions which promote our values and principles – the OSCE and the United Nations are such organisations.

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