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Trump ouster will not mend trans-Atlantic ties: Germany’s Maas

DPA
Berlin
The ouster of US President Donald Trump in November elections would not suffice in mending diplomatic relations between Washington and Berlin, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told DPA in an interview published on Sunday.
“Anyone who thinks that having a Democrat in office would reinstate the trans-Atlantic partnership to what it was before is underestimating the structural changes” that have taken place, he said.
While calling the bilateral relationship “extremely important” and saying work must be done to improve it, he added that “in its current form, it no longer meets the demands that both sides have of it.” Trump has repeatedly criticized Germany for its handling of a series of issues, including its cooperation with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and the fact that it is not meeting the NATO defence spending target.
The latest bone of contention has been Trump’s announcement that his administration is substantially reducing the number of troops it has stationed in Germany. He has not given a clear timeline for the plan.
Democrat Joe Biden is challenging Trump in November elections.
Maas also commented on a landmark EU-China summit that has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying that cancelling it over Bejing’s Hong Kong policies would be counterproductive and that it was important to maintain dialogue.
“Cancelling a summit will not change anything, neither in Hong Kong nor elsewhere,” he said.