New German FM wants 'Europe united' to counter 'America 1st'

Maas has said this means working with Washington where possible.

13 June 2018 | 15:55

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 13 June 2018 | 15:55

This photo shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) leader and designated Interior minister Horst Seehofer addressing a press conference at the Federal Press Conference in Berlin, prior to the signature of the chancellor's conservative CDU/CSU and the SPD's coalition contract for a new government. March 12, 2018. (AFP Photo)

BERLIN: Germany's new foreign minister says that Europe's response to U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" strategy should be "Europe United."

In his first major policy speech since taking office, Heiko Maas said the European Union should strive for a "balanced partnership" with the United States.

Maas has said this means working with Washington where possible, filling voids in areas where the U.S. is withdrawing and pushing back where America is seen as crossing red lines.

Speaking Wednesday in Berlin, Mass said the EU should also increasingly move toward majority and away from unanimous decision-making, which encourages foreign powers to try to split the bloc.

Maas also called for the EU to strengthen its outreach to former Soviet republics, and said Germany and France can be the driving force in reforming Europe.

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