Blinken visits Berlin

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Berlin (dpa) – During his inaugural visit to Germany, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet on Wednesday with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). He will also participate in a conference on Libya conflict in Berlin, where Russia, China and Turkey will also be represented. On Thursday, Maas and Blinken plan to sign an agreement on closer cooperation between the United States and Germany to commemorate the Holocaust at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
Talks with Merkel and Maas on Wednesday are likely to focus on a fresh start to German-American relations after reaching a low point during the era of U.S. President Donald Trump. His successor Joe Biden is doing his best to improve relations with Europe’s strongest economic ally. He even turned off the conflict over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by waiving sanctions against the operating company. However, the dispute has not been fully resolved and is likely to be an issue during talks with Blinken in Berlin.
According to the US State Department, talks will also focus on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, as well as in China and Russia. The US advocates taking a tough stance on these two major powers, while the German government stresses that China, in particular, is also needed as a cooperation partner on issues such as climate protection.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier will also visit Washington on Wednesday. Merkel plans a trip to the US on July 15th. He had met Biden the previous weekend for a first personal conversation on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Britain. The president of the United States later wrote on Twitter: “The ties between our two nations are stronger than ever.”

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