German president Steinmeier ‘greatly relieved’ at US change of power

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed relief that Joe Biden was replacing Donald Trump as US president on Wednesday, calling it a "good day for democracy".

German president Steinmeier 'greatly relieved' at US change of power
American President-elect Joe Biden on January 19th 2020. Photo: DPA

“I am greatly relieved that Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president today and move into the White House,” the head of state said.

“I know this feeling is shared by many people in Germany.”

Steinmeier said America's institutions had proven their strength in the face of “great tests” and “hostility” during Trump's term.

He said the transfer of power to Biden brought with it “the hope that the international community can work together more closely and better in future to solve the great problems of our time”. 

He said Germany looked forward “to knowing we again have the US at our side as an indispensable partner” in addressing “the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, security issues, arms control and disarmament, and many urgent conflicts around the world”.

READ ALSO: What could Joe Biden as US President mean for Germany?

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Even “differences of opinion” would not be allowed to “separate us, but rather lead us to look even harder for shared solutions”, he added.

However Steinmeier warned that “despite the joy of this day”, the last four years had shown that “populism also seduced the most powerful democracy in the world”.

“We must resolutely stand up to polarisation, protect and strengthen our democracies' public sphere and make policy on the basis of reason and facts,” he said.

Steinmeier extended his “best wishes” to Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “for their great and difficult tasks” ahead, saying he hoped to welcome them soon to Germany. 

Member comments

  1. ‘Birds of a feather’ I say. Full steam ahead with Crony-Capitalism.
    Doesn’t anyone remember how Biden gloated about how he withheld Billions $in aid to the Ukraine unless a prosecuter was fired for investigating a company for corruption, in which his son, Hunter was on the Board.

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Merkel to meet US President Biden in Washington this July

US President Joe Biden is to meet with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington next month, the White House said on Friday.

Merkel to meet US President Biden in Washington this July
Merkel and Biden meeting at the Munich Security Conference in 2015. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Andreas Gebert

“President Biden looks forward to welcoming Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to the White House on July 15th, 2021,” press secretary Jen Psaki said, adding that ending the Covid-19 pandemic and tackling climate change were top of the agenda.

However, Merkel and Biden are expected to meet in person as early as this weekend on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Cornwall, southern England, for the first time since the US president took office in late January.

Both leaders are seeking a fresh start after the low point in German-American relations in the era of US President Donald Trump.

Trump repeatedly attacked Germany and also Merkel herself. Biden, on the other hand, leaves no doubt about how important the relationship with Germany is to him.


As president, Biden not only reversed Trump’s ordered withdrawal of US troops from Germany but last month also refrained from imposing far-reaching sanctions on the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline, explaining that such punitive measures would have negatively affected “U.S. relations with Germany, the EU and other European allies and partners.”

The meeting in Cornwall will show whether the dispute over the pipeline has really ended, removing the last obstacle to restarting German-American relations.

Merkel has been very restrained with foreign trips during the pandemic and has recently only travelled to Brussels for individual summit meetings or, as is the case now, to England.

The trip to Washington is also likely to be one of her last as chancellor. She will step down as head of government after the general election in September.

So far, Biden has received only two foreign guests in the White House – in light of the Corona pandemic: Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korea’s President Moon Jae In.

Merkel would therefore be the third high-ranking guest from abroad during Biden’s term in office, which officially started in late January.

READ ALSO: Merkel invites Biden to Germany ‘as soon as pandemic allows it’