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7 Jun, 2020 07:55

Being US ally is valuable but COMPLICATED, German FM says after Pentagon reportedly told its troops to pack up

Being US ally is valuable but COMPLICATED, German FM says after Pentagon reportedly told its troops to pack up

The benefits of partnering with Washington come with one considerable ‘but’, Berlin’s foreign minister said on the heels of reports that the US is preparing to pull thousands of troops out of Germany.

Up to 9,500 soldiers have allegedly been ordered to leave Germany, redeploying to neighboring European countries or returning home, it emerged this week. Media reports, still to be officially confirmed by Washington, said the troop pullout would result in the US contingent losing over a quarter of its manpower on German soil.

The news received a mixed reaction from Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who spoke out this Sunday. “If it comes to the withdrawal of some of the US troops, we will take note of this,” Maas told Bild newspaper. 

Berlin appreciates “the cooperation with the US armed forces that has grown over the decades,” and that bond serves “the interest of our two countries,” he said.

However, the foreign minister hinted that the relationship is not always so easy.

We are close partners in the Transatlantic alliance. But: It is complicated.

The reported decision came out of the blue for the German government, reports indicate. Local media widely quoted top lawmakers who voiced unease over how Germany was kept in the dark about the withdrawal plans.

While some senior politicians have accused the US of sidelining its allies when it comes to decision making, others say now is the time for Europe to take charge of its own future.

Also on rt.com German officials call US troop withdrawal a ‘wake-up call for Europeans’ & chance to loosen ties

Recently, the two NATO allies have clashed over a range of issues, from trade and investment to defense burden-sharing and foreign policy. The American-German spat escalated last month when Chancellor Angela Merkel gently refused to go to Washington for a G7 summit, declining President Donald Trump’s invitation.

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