Merkel would mend relations with US: Schaeuble
28 July 2005, BERLIN - Angela Merkel plans moves to improve relations with the United States if she defeats Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Germany's upcoming general election, a top member of her Christian Democratic Union party said Thursday.
28 July 2005
BERLIN - Angela Merkel plans moves to improve relations with the United States if she defeats Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Germany's upcoming general election, a top member of her Christian Democratic Union party said Thursday.
"There has been some bad damage and we will change this," said Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) foreign policy expert Wolfgang Schaeuble after returning from talks in Washington Wednesday with U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Schaeuble said Chancellor Schroeder's government had harmed the old fundamental trust between the U.S. and Germany and that a Merkel government would make efforts to correct this.
The European Union (E.U.) and transatlantic ties were two sides of the same coin and could not be played off against each other, he said.
Schaeuble also warned against a special "German path" as has been espoused by Schroeder or of forging a new European axis - an apparent reference to what has been dubbed Schroeder's Berlin-Paris-Moscow axis.
Merkel, who sent Scheauble to Washington for the talks, holds a commanding lead in opinion polls over Schroeder's ruling centre-left coalition of his Social Democrats and Greens.
Germany's general election will be held September 18.
Chancellor Schroeder narrowly achieved re-election in 2002 by fiercely opposing the then-looming U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Relations with Bush were forced into the deep chill and the two leaders did not even speak for almost a year.
Since then, Bush and Schroeder have restored ties but their political friendship appears forced and distant.
Merkel, while backing the U.S. role in the Iraq war, has been careful to underline that if elected she would not change Berlin's 'no' on sending troops to Iraq.
Subject: German news