German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the “return” of the United States as an active player in international politics. She said this during a speech at the Berlin conference on the future of transatlantic ties, Reuters reports.
Merkel thanked the Joe Biden administration for its help in confronting Russia and China, calling Washington “Europe’s most important ally.” At the same time, she noted that Germany is not interested in the return of the Cold War, which would be accompanied by a split of the world into two warring camps.
The head of the German government highly appreciated the initiative aimed at concluding a trade agreement between the EU and America. Earlier in February, Peter Beyer, Merkel’s transatlantic coordinator, called for “thinking big” and pushing for an ambitious agenda, including a US-European trade deal that would see the abolition of industrial tariffs and WTO reform to increase pressure on Beijing.
Commenting on a possible investment agreement between the EU and China, Merkel called this document “very important,” as it, according to her, would open up “reciprocity in the issue of market access” for Europe. At the same time, she stressed that it would make sense to consider “the whole range of issues” about the PRC, including its reputation in the field of human rights. The day before, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in London once again indicated that the US authorities oppose the construction of the “Nord stream-2” gas pipeline, and recalled the importance of countering “the destabilizing activities of Russia, China, and Iran.”