German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of transatlantic relations on Wednesday, saying that the United States will always be Europe’s most important partner.
Speaking at the Digital Foreign Relations conference sponsored by her parliamentary alliance, Merkel said that transatlantic cooperation “is back in action if you want to put it this way.”
Referring to the election of US President Joe Biden, Merkel admitted that relations with the Trump administration were not as good as they had been.
Relations between Merkel and President Donald Trump have been strained over issues such as Russia and NATO funding.
She added that “returning to work” does not necessarily mean “business as usual,” as a lot has changed in recent years.
But Merkel said that it was clear to her during the “difficult” years that “we can only find answers to joint tasks and questions of the future with closer cooperation.”
Merkel said that while Germany has no interest in a world divided into camps, as was the case during the Cold War.
It would have been good for the United States, “Europe’s most important ally”, to stand by the continent in competition with China and Russia.
The chancellor also said that global issues such as trade and climate change cannot be resolved without good relations with China as well.
She also said that she also supports the bilateral trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, and said, “We have trade agreements with many regions of the world.”
“It would be logical to develop such a trade agreement here similar to what we did with Canada.”
After 13 years in office, Merkel announced that she would not seek re-election in national elections later this year.