Friday, December 4, 2020

Europe ready to ‘take on more responsibility’ says Merkel to Biden

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BERLIN — Germany and Europe are ready to contribute more to the transatlantic relationship, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday following Joe Biden’s U.S. presidential election victory.

Speaking in Berlin, Merkel said, “we Germans and Europeans know that in this partnership in the 21st century we have to take on more responsibility.”

“America is and will remain our closest ally, but it expects more from us — and rightly so,” Merkel said. “We are working on it.”

Merkel, who regularly met with Biden during his eight years as vice president, praised the U.S. president-elect’s “decades of experience in both domestic and foreign policy.”

“He knows Germany and Europe well,” she said. “I remember good encounters and conversations with him.”

She congratulated Biden on his victory “very warmly.”

By contrast, in her five-minute statement on the outcome of the election, the chancellor made no reference to Donald Trump, whose relationship with Merkel and Germany was notably fractious. Trump publicly criticized Merkel, lambasted Berlin for not spending more on defense and complained about Germany’s trade surplus with the U.S.

“The United States of America and Germany, as part of the European Union, must stand together in order to face the great challenges of our time,” Merkel said, listing the pandemic, climate change, the fight against terrorism and free trade as key topics.

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