“This is the hour of multilateralism,” German Chancellor Merkel said. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)(AP)
“This is the hour of multilateralism,” German Chancellor Merkel said. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)(AP)

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push for return to pre-Trump cooperation

A week after Joe Biden’s inauguration, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron used virtual addresses to the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda to talk up the value of international cooperation and to push for coordinated action on issues ranging from digital taxation to trade and climate change.
Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 09:30 PM IST

The leaders of Germany and France separately called for governments to work more closely together, signalling their hope that the end of Donald Trump’s four-year term in the US will herald the return of transatlantic collaboration.

A week after Joe Biden’s inauguration, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron used virtual addresses to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Davos Agenda to talk up the value of international cooperation and to push for coordinated action on issues ranging from digital taxation to trade and climate change.

“This is the hour of multilateralism,” German Chancellor Merkel said. “We see that in such an existential case the attempt to isolate fails long term -- at least in relation to this pandemic it failed.”

The German leader, who regularly clashed with Trump’s America First doctrine, said it was an “important sign” that the US is rejoining the World Health Organization and called on President Biden to unblock the World Trade Organization.

It was a theme picked up by France’s president, Macron, who said that multilateralism “was blocked by the US administration that didn’t believe in it” under Trump.

“I have great hopes this year, with a US partner who I hope will come back,” he said. “We need to build an efficient multilateral system that will allow a new consensus.”

Merkel wants the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to quickly reach an agreement on digital taxation and called for a global antitrust regime to tackle cross-border competition issues, while Macron welcomed the US’s new commitment to the Paris climate accord.

In a telephone call between Biden and Macron on Sunday, the two men covered issues from NATO to climate change. When the new US president spoke to Merkel on Monday, Biden spoke of his intent to “revitalize the transatlantic alliance, including through NATO and with the European Union,” according to a White House readout. Merkel invited Biden to visit Germany once pandemic-related travel restrictions ease.

Multilateralism, and in particularly cooperation between the EU and a post-Trump US, was a theme explored by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her Davos address earlier in the day.

“The challenges to our democracy, the pandemic, climate change -- in his inauguration speech President Joe Biden so aptly spoke of a cascade of crises and, indeed, we face an outstanding set of challenges,” von der Leyen said. “But we can meet them if we work together; that is what we all have to learn again after four long years.”

She spoke in particular about the difficulties posed to democracy and freedom of speech by social media and said she wanted Europe and the US to join forces to “create a digital economy rulebook that is valid worldwide.”


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(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 02, 2020 rescued migrants are greeted by crew members of the Sea-Watch 4 rescue boat and Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) as they leave the Sea-Watch 4 to board a ferry on which some 350 migrants will be under quarantine, off the coast of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. - The UN voiced alarm on January 28, 2021 at increasingly frequent pushbacks and expulsions of refugees at Europe's borders, warning that the very idea of asylum itself was under attack on the continent. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes / AFP)(AFP)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 02, 2020 rescued migrants are greeted by crew members of the Sea-Watch 4 rescue boat and Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) as they leave the Sea-Watch 4 to board a ferry on which some 350 migrants will be under quarantine, off the coast of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. - The UN voiced alarm on January 28, 2021 at increasingly frequent pushbacks and expulsions of refugees at Europe's borders, warning that the very idea of asylum itself was under attack on the continent. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes / AFP)(AFP)

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Khashoggi had left Saudi Arabia in June 2017 for Washington, DC, where he hoped to continue writing amid a crackdown on dissent in his country. (AFP Photo)
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President Joe Biden's proposal mirrors income requirements in previous Covid-19 bills.(AP Photo)

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Judge approves $650 million Facebook privacy lawsuit settlement

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US CDC says risk of Ebola to the United States is extremely low

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Malaysia receives China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for regulatory testing (REUTERS)
Malaysia receives China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for regulatory testing (REUTERS)

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Committed to providing equal access to vaccines to Palestinians: India at UNSC

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Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam during the second China.

Explainer: What is love? Beijing desires unconditional loyalty from Hong Kong

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Love might be the ideal, but what Beijing really wants is obedience, control and utterly predictable elections.
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Chinese and US flags flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing, China. (REUTERS)

US senators introduce bill to end China's access to multiple year visa

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PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 10:29 AM IST
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The House Rules Committee turned back scores of Republican attempts to modify the package and sent it to the House floor for passage late Friday or early Saturday.
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A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, in 2018.(Reuters File Photo)
A demonstrator holds a poster with a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, in 2018.(Reuters File Photo)

After Khashoggi report, US slaps sanctions against 76 Saudi individuals

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
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Turkish officials say that Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and his body was cut into pieces by a 15-man Saudi group inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
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