US ambassador calls Germany Washington's most important ally

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 1 Dec, 2009 Updated Tue 1 Dec 2009 16:33 CEST
US ambassador calls Germany Washington's most important ally

Philip Murphy, the US ambassador to Germany, has called on Berlin to work closely with Washington to together to tackle challenges ranging from Afghanistan to global warming.


Calling Germany’s partnership with the United States the most important relationship of the past 60 years, Murphy said the transatlantic alliance still formed the foundation of US diplomacy around the world.

“We need strong partners – and nowhere are there better or more committed partners than in Europe. And Germany is the centrepiece of the European Union,” Murphy said in a speech on Monday evening at Berlin’s American Academy.

Listing an array of pressing issues faced by US President Barack Obama, Murphy dismissed the idea that Europe’s importance to American foreign policy had diminished since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Saying Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a “common agenda,” the ambassador emphasised America needed help from its “extraordinarily strong ally Germany” to ensure global prosperity, combat climate change, and bring peace to strife-torn Afghanistan.

“I want to underscore the importance of the effort by German soldiers and police trainers to bring stability to this troubled land,” Murphy said. “We recognise the commitment that it takes, not just from the men and women in uniform, but from their families and indeed the entire German nation.”

In a televised address early Wednesday German time, Obama is expected to announce the deployment of up to 35,000 more soldiers to battle the resurgent Taliban and Al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

But Merkel on Tuesday reiterated Germany would not make a decision about boosting its own troop levels in Afghanistan until after an international conference in late January.

"We are expecting requests from the United States but we will not take a decision in the coming days, we will do so after the conference on Afghanistan... on January 28 in London," Merkel said after talks in Berlin with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Germany currently has around 4,400 troops in Afghanistan, making the country the third largest contributor to a 100,000-strong international force after the United States and Britain.


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