Pompeo to visit Germany 6 months after abrupt cancellation

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Pompeo

Berlin – U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is to visit Germany next week to hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, six months after a similar visit was abruptly cancelled amid cool relations between the NATO allies.
Pompeo is to meet Merkel on Nov. 8, in Berlin, government spokeswoman, Martina Fietz, said on Friday.
She said the two would discuss bilateral relations and global issues.
“The relationship with the U.S. is an important pillar of German foreign and security policy, and that outlines in principle the entire spectrum of issues that could come up,’’ Fietz said.
His visit comes a day before Germany marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989.
In addition to Merkel, Pompeo will also meet Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised European members of NATO for failing to live up to the defence spending target of two per cent of gross domestic product, singling out Germany in particular.
Berlin aims to spend 1.36 per cent of GDP on defence this year.
Trump administration is also strongly opposed to a second major gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea linking Germany directly to Russia that is currently under construction.
For her part, Merkel, along with Maas, has been strongly critical of Trump’s America First policies and has called for a multilateral approach to global affairs.
Pompeo cancelled a visit to Germany in early May at the last minute.
A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Berlin attributed the decision to urgent affairs elsewhere.

(dpa/NAN)

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