Saturday, May 26, 2018

Iran deal: compromise with US is 'far away,' says Germany

Michael Knigge,, May 24

uncaptioned image  [of Foreign Minister Maas and Secreeary of State Pompeo] from article

German Foreign Minister Maas' first talk with his US counterpart Pompeo and National Security Advisor Bolton ended as it began — with the rift over Iran. But Europe's strategy is spot on, said a former US top diplomat.

Germany's foreign office took to Twitter ahead of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas' first meetings with his US counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Washington.

Its tweet "America is more than the White House" alongside three pictures showing Maas in front of the US Capitol and with the US House majority and minority leaders was more than just a fitting mode of public diplomacy [JB emphasis] for the Trump era.

It could also be read as a diplomatically phrased, but curt description of where the bilateral relationship between the German government and the Trump administration stands at the moment: Pretty close to rock bottom.

"I started working in the US government under President Kennedy and I don't think there has been any time since I became active that the relationship has been as bad as it is — because there has never been a president who cared so little about it", said James Dobbins, a former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs who has also served as special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia for Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

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