Steinmeier sends ‘let’s be friends’ letter to Obama

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has offered Barack Obama Germany’s help in a series of foreign policy matters, including reconstruction in Iraq.

Steinmeier sends 'let's be friends' letter to Obama
Photo: DPA

Steinmeier, who is also the Social Democrat chancellor candidate for this year’s general election, sent an open letter to the US president elect, calling for a reform of Nato and offering to help close down Guantanamo Bay as well as help in Iraq.

In the letter, reprinted in Der Spiegel this weekend, he wrote, “You, as I, were against the war [in Iraq] six years ago for good reasons. Today it is about looking forwards together.”

He said he was going to visit Iraq soon, in order to see what kind of help could be offered in health care and education.

Steinmeier said that Obama could count on his support in taking on prisoners released from Guantanamo when it, as planned, is closed.

He said, “If America comes to others, I am in favour of the international community and Europe not leaving the new administration alone in this matter.”

Nato needs to be reformed he said, saying it needed a new direction, and also urged Obama to take up the offer from Russian president Dmitri Medvedev to embark on a new security structure for Europe.