BERLIN, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel focused on transatlantic relations and foreign policy issues during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.
Progress in the negotiations of a transatlantic free trade agreement was of "great importance" for Germany as an export nation, said Merkel.
"The common interests will also be the engine that we find common solutions step by step, even some steps take more time," Merkel said.
Merkel mentioned in her statement in parliament on Wednesday that Germany could not wish for a better partner than the U.S. despite all existing conflicts. "The German-American and transatlantic partnership is and remains for us of paramount importance."
Merkel and Kerry also touched upon the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and cooperation of the intelligence services.
Given shared global security interests of two countries, the future involvement in Afghanistan was an important topic of today's conversation.
Merkel thanked Kerry for "promoting the Middle East peace talks in a very personal way."
They also exchanged views on the situation in Syria, the Iranian nuclear program and the current situation in Ukraine.
Kerry had met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier earlier on Friday before leaving for the Munich Security Conference.
MUNICH, Germany, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstroem on Friday welcomed a speech made by U.S. President Barack Obama on curbing the activities of the National Security Agency (NSA), saying what that meant in practice was yet to be seen.
Malmstroem told participants at the 50th Munich Security Conference that there was a need to see the limits of the NSA and safeguards put in place. Full story
BERLIN, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier here on Friday to strengthen ties between the two countries after the recent spying scandal that soured relations.
"We have gone in recent months through a tough phase," Kerry said, not directly mentioning alleged U.S. tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone. "But I want to talk about the future and strengthen trust again." Full story