• Germany's news in English

US and Germany talk security and trade

AFP/The Local · 3 Feb 2009, 22:43

Published: 03 Feb 2009 22:43 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he saw a chance to reinvigorate transatlantic ties with the new US administration after meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. She, in turn, said America expected to rely one of its key European partners.

"As President (Barack) Obama has made quite clear, we need our closest allies, like Germany, to help us ensure the success and stability of the Afghan nation at this very important moment," said Clinton.

Obama has singled out Afghanistan as his main front in the war on terrorism and plans to deploy 30,000 more US troops there over the next 18 months.

Germany last year agreed to increase the number of troops it has in Afghanistan to 4,500, where they form part of NATO's 50,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). But Berlin has been reluctant to send them in the more violent southern part of the country.

Steinmeier told German public broadcaster ZDF he and Clinton had discussed a number of important issues in an extremely constructive atmosphere.

He also called Iran's launch of its first domestically made satellite into orbit was "a worrying development" showing "once again the technical achievements that Iran is obviously capable of and the threats."

Iran said on Tuesday it had launched its first homegrown satellite into orbit, raising fresh concerns among world powers already at odds with Tehran over its nuclear ambitions.

"We have been trying for years to stop Iran from developing its own nuclear programme and its own nuclear weapons. So far we have not succeeded," said Steinmeier. Therefore it is even more urgent that "joint efforts with the new US administration must be resumed ... in order to divert Iran from any military uses of its nuclear program," he added.

But back in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Tuesday against US protectionism over a 'Buy American' clause in a US stimulus plan before Congress.

"We must avoid protectionism," Merkel told reporters, saying she had discussed the point in a telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama last week.

"Protectionism is the wrong answer" to the global economic crisis, she added when asked about a clause in an $888-billion stimulus bill before the Senate requiring new infrastructure projects to use US-manufactured goods.

Story continues below…

The House of Representatives last week approved an $819-billion version of the bill with a more narrow Buy American restriction to US iron and steel.

The European Union sounded the alarm over the plan Monday. EU ambassador to Washington John Bruton told AFP he had written to congressional leaders and the Obama administration expressing concerns about legislation to restrict procurement to US goods, including steel and textiles.

The issue is particularly sensitive in Germany as the world's top exporter and home to some of the giants of the steel industry.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd