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Europe hopes for reset, end to ‘damage control’ under Biden


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas mentioned Tuesday he hopes a reset of US-European relations under the Biden administration can end years wherein Europe was primarily involved with “damage control.”

Maas’ counterpart from Portugal, which may have taken over the European Union presidency when Joe Biden is inaugurated, mentioned Europe needs to be handled as a “full and equal partner” relatively than an enemy of the US.

Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump has been greeted with reduction in Europe, the place variations with the outgoing administration ranged from commerce tensions to protection spending, relations with China and the way to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.

Biden has made clear that he needs to “repair” the trans-Atlantic relationship, “and that is urgently necessary,” Maas mentioned at a panel occasion in Berlin.

Recent years, he mentioned, had been an train in “damage control” on worldwide diplomacy and points corresponding to local weather change.

“Enough of that — with this, we are not doing justice to the challenges we face at present.” “The result, because the West wasn’t working together any more, was that in many issues a vacuum arose that was used by China or Russia,” Maas mentioned.

But he cautioned that the Europeans “will have to get out of our seats” to grasp new alternatives, and supply to do extra themselves of their quick neighborhood as a part of what he has termed a “ new deal ” with the US Germany holds the EU’s rotating presidency till the end of December, when it can hand over to Portugal.

Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva known as for new talks with the US on commerce relations. And he famous {that a} main objection to the Trump administration’s method was its language.

“We were permanently treated by our American friends, and the Trump administration, not as friends and allies but as adversaries or even enemies,” he mentioned. “And we were always asked to choose: either you are with us, the Americans, or you are with China.”

“Of course we are with the Americans, but not as the minor partner, not as a follower … it’s a question of being a full and equal partner of the United States,” Santos Silva mentioned. Europe’s pursuits embrace good relations with all world areas, he added.

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