Berlin (dpa) – Following the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, the German government hopes to revive its severely damaged relationship with its most important ally outside of Europe.
“I look forward to a new chapter in German-American friendship and cooperation,” Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said, according to a message from government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Twitter. The inauguration of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris was a “celebration of American democracy.”
Federal Secretary of State Heiko Maas (SPD) said Wednesday that he was relieved at the change of power in the White House following Donald Trump’s four years in which German-American relations plunged into the worst crisis of the post-war era.
“In the past four years we have seen what” America first “meant: no vote, no consultation,” Maas told ZDF. Joe Biden wants to change that. “I am very happy that it is finally time again. Because we need the United States to face major challenges, to really get the crises of our time back under control. “
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer promised the new US president that Germany would be more involved in security policy. “The new US administration will also hold us Germans accountable,” said the CDU politician. “We and our European partners, America’s allies, must take confident steps to strengthen transatlantic security.”
Even if the corona pandemic reduces room for maneuver, “we must invest more, not less, in our safety,” Kramp-Karrenbauer stressed. Concrete contributions are now required so that Europe can better protect itself and become a stronger ally of America. “The future of our security policy starts now. Let’s take the gamble. “
Federal chairman Frank-Walter Steinmeier had already expressed the hope of closer cooperation with the US before the swearing-in. “We look forward to having the US back on our side in the future as an indispensable partner in many issues: in the joint and solidarity-based fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in global climate protection, in the field of security, including arms control and disarmament. in many urgent conflicts around the world, ”Steinmeier said in a video message.
At the same time, Steinmeier assured, “Even if we disagree, disagreements will not separate us, but we will be able to look all the more intensively for common solutions.” He hopes to see Biden and his vice president Kamala Harris in Germany soon.
CSU boss Markus Söder tweeted: “The transatlantic bridge is being rebuilt. We need to push aside the debris that Trump has caused. SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans spoke of a “new chapter” for Americans, but also in transatlantic relations. “Now is the time to look ahead together,” he told the German news agency. Group Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Anton Hofreiter spoke about a “good day for democracy”.
Trump had treated Germany not as an ally, but as an adversary, which he mentioned in the same breath as China and Russia and even handled sanctions. The main points of contention included defense spending, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, and the German trade surplus. They’re not leaving Biden either, but the federal government is hoping that the way we interact with each other will change significantly.