- Editor: Ranting
The U.S. Secretary of State and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Thursday (Feb. 18) reaffirmed the centrality of the transatlantic partnership in addressing security, climate, economic, health and other challenges facing the world and agreed to coordinate closely to address the global challenges posed by China and the need for cooperation on a range of issues, including climate change, according to Voice of America, Feb. 19.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony John Blinken, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rennie Raab held an online meeting Thursday to discuss Iran and other pressing issues. This was the second such meeting between them since Blinken became Secretary of State.
“They reaffirmed the centrality of the transatlantic partnership in addressing security, climate, economic, health and other challenges facing the world,” said a joint statement issued after the meeting.
In addition to focusing on Iran, the foreign ministers agreed to “coordinate closely to address the global challenges posed by China and the need for cooperation on a range of issues, including climate change,” but the statement did not specifically mention what the challenges were or how they would be coordinated.
U.S. Defense Secretary Austin, attending a meeting of NATO defense ministers Feb. 17, also discussed with NATO allies how to jointly address the Chinese challenge and welcomed the alliance’s awareness that China is increasing its influence and that its international policies are challenging transatlantic security.
On climate change, the four foreign ministers agreed to work urgently to address the climate crisis ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow in November, said a joint statement issued by the ministers.
“They agreed that significant collective action is needed to implement the Paris Agreement, including making a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius an achievable goal,” the statement said.
They look forward to the upcoming U.S.-hosted Leaders Climate Summit as an important forum for enhanced climate goals.
On his first day in office, President Biden signed a letter announcing the U.S. intention to return to the Paris climate agreement and retracting Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the World Health Organization.
The foreign ministers of the four Western powers agreed that strong international and multilateral cooperation is essential to end the CCP virus pandemic and to better rebuild collectively. They considered global efforts to respond to the outbreak, including facilities to support rapid global deployment of vaccines, primarily through the Tools for Accelerated Access to Emerging coronavirus (ACT-A) and the coronavirus Vaccine Access Facility (COVAX).
The White House confirmed Thursday that the coronavirus epidemic and China’s strength are the top issues President Biden will discuss Friday when he attends the G-7 summit.