Germany hopes that improved relations with the United States under US President Joe Biden will open the door for possible joint sanctions against China and Russia over human rights and other abuses, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday. He excluded Iran from his address.
He said the trans-Atlantic partners should act together to defend their common interests and values and lamented the lack of coordinated action under former president Donald Trump.
Trump's presidency was marked by intense pressure on Germany over its failure to meet defense spending obligations as mandated by the NATO military alliance, Germany's insistence on buying Russian natural gas, and trade policies.
Trump also angered European powers by pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, reached when Biden was vice president in Barack Obama's administration, as well as exerting pressure to ban China's Huawei from European 5G networks.