According to media reports on plans to withdraw many US soldiers from Germany, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas emphasized the mutual interest in the cooperation. "If there is a withdrawal of some of the US troops, we take note of this," the SPD politician told Bild on Sunday . "We appreciate the decades of cooperation with the US armed forces. It is in the interest of our two countries." Regarding the relationship between Germany and the United States, Maas said: "We are close partners in the transatlantic alliance. But: It is complicated."
According to media reports, US President Donald Trump plans to drastically reduce US troops in Germany. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, referring to unnamed U.S. government officials, that Trump had instructed the Pentagon to reduce the presence in Germany from 34,500 soldiers to 9,500. In addition, a limit of 25,000 US soldiers should be introduced, which could also be present in Germany. Even Der Spiegel reported with reference to proprietary information about a planned massive reduction of US troop presence in Germany. The White House did not confirm Trump's plans to withdraw.
Maas again criticized Trump's reaction to the riots after the black American George Floyd died in a police operation. "I think it is the wrong way to threaten further violence in a very tense situation," he said. Maas expressed fear that the election campaign would polarize the US even more.
When asked about Trump's designated democratic challenger Joe Biden, Maas said: "There are a lot of people in the United States who have been very smart in the past few days, including Joe Biden, but also former Republican President George W. Bush . " The German Foreign Minister continued: "This gives me hope that there are responsible voices from both political camps. I very much hope that the sensible will prevail."