President Joe Biden told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday that he looked forward to revitalizing the transatlantic alliance with Germany, a relationship that had become strained under former President Donald Trump.
The new president has made a series of calls to his foreign counterparts in recent days as part of his efforts to reset US relations around the world after four years of Trump’s “America First” policy.
The White House said in a statement that Biden reported that he viewed the US partnership with NATO and the European Union “as a cornerstone of our collective security and shared democratic values.”
Trump and Merkel’s relationship began with ice and remained cold throughout the Trump presidency.
After meetings with Trump in 2017, Merkel said that Europe could no longer completely depend on its allies and should become more independent.
After the 2018 NATO summit, Trump called on members to devote at least 4% of their GDP to military spending and paid special attention to Merkel, who accused her of paying “billions of dollars to Russia for gas and energy” while failing to meet her country’s needs by committing to spending at least 2% of output. GDP on defense.
In a statement regarding the invitation, German government spokesman Stephen Seibert said that Merkel welcomed Biden’s decisions on the first day of his presidency to join the World Health Organization and the Paris climate agreement. Trump withdrew the United States from the International Health Agency and the climate agreement that nearly every country signed to curb global warming.
Merkel has spoken positively To elect Biden.
Last week, the chancellor said that “there is simply a much broader political overlap with President Biden” than with Trump. But Merkel warned that not everything would be right – in line with her long track record of keeping public expectations low.
“There will be differences of opinion with the Biden administration as well,” she said.
One issue that is likely to remain controversial is the German-Russian gas pipeline project, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would bring Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, and is facing bipartisan opposition in Washington.
Neither side mentioned the draft in their statements about the leaders’ call.
Biden also spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the French President Emmanuel Macron And Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Seibert said Merkel had invited Biden to visit Germany as soon as the epidemiological situation allowed.