Peter Beyer, Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation in the Field of Intersocietal Relations, Cultural and Information Policy, left Berlin today (16 November) to go to the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada. Prior to his departure, he issued the following statement:
I will actively seek to engage with our partners and explain our German positions. My appointments with the Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, US Senator Mike Rounds and the German Ambassador to Canada, Sabine Sparwasser, are just the first of numerous important meetings I will hold during my trip. We have to attend to the security of Europe, the uncertain future of the INF Treaty, as well as burden-sharing within the NATO Alliance.
I also want to talk to my US interlocutors in particular about America’s sanctions policy. Europe and America may have similar objectives with regard to Iran and Russia, but our views on how to achieve them differ widely. I, for one, see things very critically when the US imposes sanctions on German firms for engaging in lawful trade with Iran, in reliance on an agreement that was negotiated together with the Americans. And while I very much understand the US concerns about Russia, German companies should not be punished for importing natural gas to Germany in full compliance with our laws. However, I would also like to communicate to our international partners that Germany is indeed a country on which they can rely.
We stand by our friends and uphold our international promises, in defence policy, and in NATO, too. This is demonstrated not least by the significant Bundeswehr participation in the current manoeuvres in Norway. Here, too, the partnership with the US is essential for Europe, and nobody should think that America has in any way become less important to us, especially as regards our security here in Europe. I look forward to attending one of the most important gatherings worldwide at which security and defence politicians from around the globe seek to address the international challenges of our times