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Germany and U.S. have a lot to offer each other

Schröder: Germany and the United States have a lot to offer each other

In a speech given at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schröder emphasized the things the two nations have in common. He said German-American relations are based on a solid foundation of common experience and shared values. He recalled the unique nature of the political and economic assistance provided to Germany by the United States after 1945. "Nobody who grew up in the post-war era as I did will ever forget the contribution the United States made towards our positive development," Schröder noted.

In the Cold War years the United States guaranteed the freedom of the Federal Republic of Germany as it existed then, the western part of a divided country. Schröder underscored the great service rendered to Germany by President George Bush, the father of the current president, in connection with reunification.

Schröder asked his German and American audience to be understanding of the things that separate the two nations, citing the bitter experience of the wars fought in the course of the past 150 years of German history and the fact that this influenced the country's collective consciousness in such a way that there is now considerable reserve about the use of military force. He noted that Germany has assumed international responsibility and will continue to do so, adding that this is shown by the foreign policy Germany has pursued since September 11, 2001.

Most important ally

Schröder went on to say that Germans understand how strongly the United States, Germany's most important ally, was affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, adding that this is why the German government has cooperated closely with the United States in the fight against international terrorism.

He indicated that for Germany international policy must, of necessity, be first and foremost a policy in and for Europe, noting that there is not "too much America" in the transatlantic relationship but rather "not enough Europe". He stated that the meeting held recently by Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg was not intended to decouple Europe from NATO but rather to make the European pillar of NATO more effective and capable of action. "In my view progress in the area of European security and defense policy is very much in the interest of transatlantic partnership," Schröder said.

Schröder expressed confidence that excellent trade relations will continue to be a characteristic of the friendship that exists between Germany and the United States, noting that the two countries have a lot to offer each other in all areas.

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