German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday congratulated the new U.S. president-elect and his running mate on their projected election victory and said the U.S. and its European partners must stand together to deal with the challenges of our time.
At a news conference in Berlin, Merkel said Biden has decades of experience in both domestic and foreign policy and knows Germany and Europe well. She said she had fond memories of good encounters and discussions with the former vice president.
The German chancellor also warmly congratulated Harris as future vice president, noting she will be the first woman to serve in that position. Merkel said Harris, as the child of two immigrants, is an inspiration for many people and example of what is possible in America, and added, “I am looking forward to meeting her.”
Merkel said the U.S., Germany and the rest of the European Union must stand “side by side” to face the big challenges of our time, including the COVID-19 pandemic, global warming and terrorism. She said they must work for “an open world economy and free trade, because this is the basis of our prosperity on either side of the Atlantic.”
Merkel also said she recognized Germans and Europeans have to take on more responsibility in their partnership with the United States. “America is and remains our most important ally. But it expects us, and rightly so, to make stronger efforts to take care of our security and to stand up for our convictions in the world,” she said.
Germany currently holds the rotating EU presidency.
Relations between Merkel and President Donald Trump had been strained over issues such as funding for NATO and relations with Russia.