Diplomacy: Steinmeier: Germany and Canada need each other

On his first trip to Canada, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the importance of relations between the two countries as more important than ever.

Diplomacy: Steinmeier: Germany and Canada need each other

On his first trip to Canada, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the importance of relations between the two countries as more important than ever. Germany and Canada have been on friendly terms with each other for decades.

"But the recent geopolitical changes, Russia's war against Ukraine, the conflict between China and the West, all of this has made us reconsider," said Steinmeier yesterday before his arrival in the Canadian capital Ottawa. "If we look back and say we knew we liked each other in the past, now we know we need each other more than ever."

Steinmeier said he had heard from business, science, culture and politics that there was an ambition to expand existing connections. He is accompanied by his wife Elke Büdenbender and a business delegation. Federal Education and Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) is also taking part in the four-day trip.

Conversation with Trudeau and students

Upon his arrival in Ottawa, Steinmeier was received by Canada's Governor General, Mary Simon. A meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled for today. Steinmeier and Trudeau also want to discuss with students at the University of Ottawa how to strengthen liberal democracy, which has come under pressure in many countries.

With an area of ​​almost ten million square kilometers, Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia and about 28 times the size of Germany. However, only a good 39 million people live there - not even half as many as in Germany. The country has vast natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals. This makes it interesting as a trading partner, especially since Germany wants to reduce its dependencies on Russia and China.

Ceta agreement under criticism

Trade is facilitated by the controversial Ceta agreement that the Bundestag ratified in December. It is intended to facilitate business between companies in the EU and Canada by eliminating almost all tariffs and through common rules - although critics find that the trade pact protects corporate interests unilaterally to the detriment of the climate, environment and social fairness.

"Ceta has already intensified trade between our two countries," said Steinmeier during the flight to Ottawa. The agreement obviously also offers an incentive for mutual investments. Furthermore, Germany and Canada were among the strongest political, economic and military supporters of Ukraine, which had been attacked by Russia.

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