German president laments ‘tweets and tirades’ during US visit
“Wunderbar Together,” a publicity campaign for Germany in the US, has ended with a stark warning from Germany’s president. Frank-Walter Steinmeier said freedom and democracy depended on strong trans-Atlantic cooperation.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday urged trans-Atlantic unity as he wrapped up a yearlong German charm offensive in the US.
Steinmeier said the US and Germany “need each other if democracy and freedom are to have a future in the world.” However, he appeared to make veiled criticism of US President Donald Trump, whose administration has steadily undermined US relations with Europe.
“I have come here as the federal president to raise our sights away from the day-to-day emphasis on tweets and tirades and beyond the indignation that is often both predictable and ineffective,” Steinmeier said at the Goethe Institute in Boston.
Trump has often used fiery tweets to criticize relations with other countries, including Germany, one of the US’ biggest postwar allies. He has accused Berlin of failing to pay for collective security under NATO and engaging in unfair trade practices.
German President Steinmeier visits US cultural landmarks
‘Friendship with mutual respect’
Earlier this week, Steinmeier harked back to the days of amicable ties between the countries, referring to the political support of former US presidents for German reunification.
“That America was always concerned with supporting a united Europe,” Steinmeier said. “That America wanted a real partnership and friendship with mutual respect. Much of this does not seem self-evident today.”
His visit formally concluded a multimillion-euro publicity campaign called “Wunderbar Together” (Wonderful Together) aimed at revitalizing amicable ties between Germany and the US. The trip comes days before the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“If we still believe in the great task of democracy, we should still believe in this trans-Atlantic partnership,” Steinmeier said. “I do.”