"We will do our bit"
At the start of her press conference with President Donald Trump, Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of the transatlantic alliance. Both countries "urgently depend on one another" within this alliance. Where political differences exist, they must be discussed, said the Chancellor. This does not, however, in any way detract from the enormous importance of the USA for the Germans.
"The era of the post-war order is over"
Germany supports NATO’s goal of raising the defence budgets of member states, said the Chancellor, responding to the criticism of the American government that Germany does not do enough for defence.
"We Germans too must learn to accept more responsibility," stressed the Chancellor. "The era of the post-war order is over." Germany’s contribution will have to continue to rise over the next few years. This includes development cooperation, steps to address the root causes of flight and migration and the readiness to engage at diplomatic level, as well as military engagement.
Agreement with Iran is the first step
Angela Merkel sees the agreement with Iran as "a first step", which has helped slow Iran’s nuclear activities and made it possible to better monitor these. Germany too believes that the agreement "is anything but perfect". It is not enough to achieve a role for Iran based on reliability. "That is why more must come." It is important to achieve reliability beyond the term of the agreement.
Angela Merkel pointed to the country’s ballistic missile programme. It is "a matter of great concern". The influence of Iran in Syria and Lebanon also concerns the German government greatly. Germany will remain in close dialogue with the USA and others on these points.
For fair trade
The EU and Germany, said Angela Merkel, must negotiate with the USA about fair terms of trade. Germany has already reduced its trade surplus with the USA, she pointed out. On the other hand, tax reform has made the USA more attractive for foreign investment. And hundreds of thousands of cars are built in the USA, and exported worldwide by German companies who provide jobs for American workers.