US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s first bilateral working visit to Europe will bring him to Berlin. Alongside the Second Berlin Conference on Libya beginning that same day, there are many other international and bilateral issues on the agenda. They include:
Libya: At the Second Berlin Conference on Libya, all participants want to set the right course and secure international support so that Libya can find durable peace and stability. Further information on the Conference can be found here
Iran: The sixth round of negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran ended last Sunday. The two Ministers will discuss the current status of the Vienna talks at their meeting.
Ukraine: The United States supports the Normandy format consisting of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, the purpose of which is to bring the conflict in eastern Ukraine to an end. At present, the focus is on a fresh attempt to create the prerequisites in terms of substance for a foreign ministers’ meeting in this format.
Disarmament and arms control: Germany is ready to actively support the strategic dialogue agreed between President Biden and Russia’s President Putin at their meeting in Geneva. Reiterating the Reagan-Gorbachev formula – that a nuclear war can never be won and must therefore never be waged – was already a first, key signal concerning global nuclear arms control.
The issues listed here show that the world has not stood still since the last visit to Berlin by today’s US Secretary of State five years ago. Today more than ever, we need transatlantic solidarity and a transatlantic division of labour.
We can have a greater impact if we pull in the same direction
The sanctions against the inhumane regime in Belarus adopted simultaneously at the beginning of the week by the European Union, the United States, Canada and the UK have just demonstrated the concrete impact which the transatlantic alliance can have. This underscores that if Germany and the United States of America shoulder responsibility together on both sides of the Atlantic, then our shared values can develop a new appeal.
Despite all the international issues on the transatlantic to-do list, the future of German-American relations has not been forgotten. On the contrary. At two joint events in Berlin’s Mitte district, the two Ministers will emphasise that two issues are especially important to them: on Thursday morning (24 June), Heiko Maas and Antony J. Blinken will sign a package of measures at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe aimed at ensuring that the Holocaust which was unleashed from German soil is remembered in future, as well as at effectively combating both old and new forms of antisemitism. In the afternoon, the two Ministers will then have a discussion with young adults on how to revamp transatlantic relations to make them fit for the future. Very much in line with the topic, the event will take place in the relaxed atmosphere of a traditional Berlin outdoor restaurant.