Olaf Scholz and Joe Biden emphasize unity

Olaf Scholz and Joe Biden emphasize unity

Dhe working visit of the Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington was in many ways the opposite of French President Emmanuel Macron’s pompous state visit to the American capital in December: there was no state banquet and no music. Not even a joint press conference. But one thing shouldn’t differ: Like Macron, Scholz wanted to send a signal of unity on his short trip to Washington on Friday. And Joe Biden pursued the same goal.

Majid Sattar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

The US President praised the guest from Germany for his leadership in supporting Ukraine. Germany has increased its military aid to Kiev, he said in the Oval Office, where both sat in front of the fireplace. Washington and Berlin are moving in step with military aid, he said, referring to the delivery of the Abrams and Leopard main battle tanks. The month-long discussion about this step seemed forgotten. Scholz, in turn, reiterated that it was important to send the message that Kiev was being supported in the war against Russia for as long as it was necessary. biden had previously recalled that Scholz was last in Washington in February of last year – immediately before the Russian attack on Ukraine. At that time, Vladimir Putin was warned that if he attacked, they would react. And that’s exactly what you did.

Even before the meeting in the White House, Scholz had emphasized that relations between Germany and the United States were better than they had been in many years, adding: “I think that’s important in these times when we are being challenged by the terrible war of aggression by Russia against Ukraine.” The basis for this is trust, which arises from talking to each other again and again. “That’s exactly what we do.” Scholz explained the unusual format of the visit, most of which should consist of a one-to-one conversation. Both sides wanted to keep their conversation confidential.

Kirby emphasizes close coordination on support

The White House had previously reaffirmed the good relationship between the two countries. Washington and Berlin would have the support of the Ukraine closely coordinated during the course of the conflict. That also applies to the announcements to supply armored personnel carriers and main battle tanks to Ukraine, said John Kirby, communications director for the National Security Council. Germany is an important NATO partner and has supplied crucial weapon systems, such as the Iris-T and Patriot air defense systems, to Ukraine.

Biden and Scholz had made it clear that the working visit was mainly about the Ukraine war. A high-ranking government representative said that the NATO summit in the summer would also be discussed and China would be discussed Washington communicated.

The month-long dissent between Washington and Berlin over the delivery of battle tanks to Kiev had once again sparked discussions before the visit. Although had kirby Germany commended it for having “made progress” not least with its commitment to supply Leopard II tanks. But Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said over the weekend that the federal government had made the delivery of American Abrams tanks a condition for the delivery of Leopard tanks. In Berlin, on the other hand, a government spokesman repeated an earlier statement that there was no such connection. Of course, Sullivan’s testimony in a television interview also served as justification for the Abrams tanks not being delivered to Ukraine this year. Washington had always argued that the Leopard tanks were more important to the Ukrainian armed forces. On the other hand, the American commitment was important to Berlin so that it was not alone in exposing itself to Moscow on this far-reaching issue.

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