By bpb-correspondent B.John Zavrel
Barack Obama with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Chancellor's Office in Berlin The photograph was taken in July, 2008 when the newly elected president visited Germany. In the future, Obama and Merkel want a closed transatlantic cooperation.
Washington/New York/Berlin (bpb) German Chancellor Angela Merkel was one of the first political leaders who congratulated the newly elected US President Barack Obama. "Good Luck, Mr. President", Merkel said on the phone on Thursday, November 6. She called him from the Chancellery Berlin at 10 o'clock at the night.
For the first time in the history of the USA, Americans have voted a black candidate into the White House. Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States. "We are all witnessing a historic election victory in the United States of America," declared the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Chancellor extended her warmest congratulations to the President-elect. "I wish him great happiness in his work, strength and the necessary luck," she said. She is looking forward to being able to continue soon the talks begun last summer, she added. Angela Merkel declared herself "convinced" that it will prove possible to resolve the problems facing the international community, on the basis of the deep friendship and partnership that unites the Federal Republic of Germany, Europe and the United States of America.
The problems cited by the Chancellor were the financial crisis, the war on terrorism, climate protection and free world trade. "But," the Chancellor stated confidently, "I believe that we will resolve these issues, in the realization that today no one nation can solve the problems of the world alone". In their joint efforts, the community wishes to see a strong America.
Obama is welcome in Germany
Obama's official visit to Germany is expected in 2009. An American president can come to Germany whenever he wants. The two big ruling parties in Germany interested are interested in his visit: the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) together with the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democrats of Germany (SPD). At present, both groups are together in a coalition Government. But in 2009, there will be new elections in Germany. The public expects a "hard fight", since the traditional US friendly CDU/CSU wants to govern alone as in "the good old days" of the first German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
The Christian Democrats, and even more the Social Democrats will use Obama's visit for their own public relations to influence the German voters. A great number of Germans like Obama and expect a lot from him. The SPD Politician Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at present German Foreign Minister, praises Obama in public speeches and shows his friendship to him. On his expected visit in Germany, the American President's time will be mostly monopolized by the politicians.
Obama should not expect too much from Germany and the Europeans. The German people are tired of supporting American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is no interest among the people to send more German soldiers to both of these countries.
The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expects a change in the US foreign policy under the new President. He recalled that in the speech he had given in Berlin last July, Barack Obama called for the transatlantic partnership to be filled with new life. He supported Obama's proposals on climate protection, energy security, disarmament, and the role of international organizations.
In general, the people in Germany and Europe expect much from Obama, but say to him: "Now show if you can do it "
© PROMETHEUS 137/2008
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin - News, Politics, Art and Science. Nr. 137, November 2008