Merkel sees 'much broader scope' for cooperation with Biden
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday there was far more common ground to work together with Washington now that Joe Biden has replaced Donald Trump in the White House.
Merkel said Germany and Europe were ready to do their part to address a range of issues in the transatlantic in-tray including the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis and security threats with the new administration.
"There is a much broader scope of political accord with President Biden," Merkel told reporters, citing his return to the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization and his openness to migration as examples.
However she noted that observers expecting them to see eye-to-eye on all issues of transatlantic importance would be disappointed, saying there would of course be "debates about how we can do things well for both countries".
"Biden represents the interests of the US, I represent those of the Federal Republic of Germany," she said.
Chancellor #Merkel: "Warmest congratulations on your inauguration, @POTUS Joe Biden and @VP Kamala Harris - a true celebration of American democracy. I look forward to a new chapter of German-American friendship and cooperation." #InaugurationDay— Steffen Seibert (@RegSprecher) January 20, 2021
But she pledged to heed the calls pre-dating Trump for Germany and Europe to do more to foster global security particularly on defence.
"You hear everywhere people rightly saying that Europe will have to take on more responsibility, that means not only militarily but also in the diplomatic arena and many other areas," she said.
"But the good news is that we in Germany are ready to do that, the EU is also ready to," she said.
Merkel said such debates would now take place on a "broader foundation of shared convictions".