Germany’s foreign minister on Aug. 27 criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for imposing sanctions against trade partners like Turkey, China and Russia.
Speaking at the annual Ambassadors’ Conference in Berlin, Heiko Maas vowed to take measures to protect European firms from such unilateral sanctions.
“Washington’s sanctions policy forces us Europeans to formulate a response. Because it is affecting us, Germany and Europe, when the U.S. abruptly and unilaterally imposing often unspecified sanctions against Russia, China, Turkey and maybe in the future against our other important trading partners,” he stressed.
Maas argued that the European Union member states should take joint steps against the U.S. dominance in global finance, and proposed a European alternative to the U.S.-dominated SWIFT payment system.
“We have to further strengthen the autonomy and sovereignty of Europe in the fields of trade, economy and finance policies,” he stressed.
“It’s not going to be easy but we have already started working on it. We are working on proposals to establish independent payment channels and creating a European Monetary Fund,” he added.
Maas is scheduled to visit Turkey next month to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues.
During his two-day visit on Sept. 5-6, Heiko Maas is expected to meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and other senior officials in the capital Ankara.
Later the two top diplomats will travel to Istanbul for a celebration at the city’s German School marking its 150th anniversary.
Maas’ trip to Turkey comes ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s key visit to Germany on Sept. 28-29.
Over the past two years political relations between Ankara and Berlin have suffered setbacks, but in recent months both sides have taken steps towards improving ties.
EU heavyweight Germany remains Turkey’s main economic and trade partner, despite political disagreements between the governments on a number of issues.