germany to trump don’t forget crimea and aleppo
Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen

Germany to Trump: Don’t forget Crimea and Aleppo

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Germany to Trump: Don’t forget Crimea and Aleppo

German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen
Berlin - Arab Today

Germany supports a dialogue between the United States and Russia, but Donald Trump must not ignore Russian actions in Crimea and Aleppo when he sits down with President Vladimir Putin, the German defense minister said on Friday.

Speaking at an event in Berlin, Ursula von der Leyen also said that NATO would be “dead” if any one of its members refused to come to the defense of another that was under attack.
Trump, who defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election this week, praised Putin repeatedly during his campaign and questioned whether the United States should defend NATO allies that were not shouldering their fair share of the financial burden in the alliance.
“It is a good thing when the new American president immediately seeks a dialogue with the Russian president. It is good and it has our full support,” von der Leyen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, said.
“What can’t happen is forgetting, forgetting the annexation of Crimea, forgetting the hybrid war in Ukraine which continues, forgetting the bombardment of Aleppo,” she said.
Trump’s election has deeply unsettled the government in Berlin, which has been the driving force behind EU sanctions against Russia for Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine and has strongly condemned the bombing of civilians in the rebel-held Syrian city of Aleppo by Russian-backed forces.
Russia is hoping the united front between Europe and Washington on sanctions will crumble under Trump. On Thursday, a Kremlin spokesman described Trump and Putin’s approach to foreign policy as “phenomenally close.”
Von der Leyen acknowledged that Trump’s victory meant Germany and Europe would likely have to take on more responsibility for their own defense.But she said the German government was still struggling to answer the question of what a Trump presidency meant, saying “we know next to nothing.”
Meanwhile, the German government has bowed to pressure to water down its CO2 reduction targets for industry in the final version of its climate action plan, a document seen by Reuters showed.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is determined to hammer out the final details this week so that Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks can present the plan at global climate talks in Morocco next week.
The government is now calling for German industry to cut its CO2 emissions by 20 rather than 30 percent by 2030 compared with 2014, according to the document which was seen on Friday.
The plan sets out how Europe’s biggest economy expects to move away from fossil fuels and cut CO2 emissions by 95 percent by 2050 to implement pledges made as part of a global climate treaty agreed in Paris in September 2015.
A leader of the Greens, Anton Hofreiter, said the watered-down goals as showed how Germany, which once considered itself a leader in climate protection, has gone off course.
“The climate protection plan remains just a skeleton,” he said. “There still aren’t any clear goals or measures. This government is afraid to tackle issues like more CO2-free vehicles on the road or closing down coal-burning plants.”
In the new plan, the emissions-cutting target for power stations was reduced, although only slightly.
Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) who share power with Merkel’s conservatives, blocked a deal late on Tuesday on the initial plan, aimed at cutting German CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030.
His unexpected veto came after trade union IG BCE, with the support of the BDI industry group, raised concerns about plans for Germany to end its use of brown coal amid calls for it to set out a timetable for ending coal-fired power production.
Gabriel said it was important to achieve ambitious climate and energy policies that also take into account modernization, economic growth and job security.
The document also dropped a previous government call to set a minimum price for carbon permits auctioned by countries under the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).
The ETS charges power plants and factories for every ton of carbon dioxide they emit, but to stop industries moving their operations to countries with looser environmental regulations, many firms have been handed free permits.
The German document suggested 10 percent of the most efficient plants in sectors that could be vulnerable to so-called carbon leakage should continue to get free allowances.

Source: Arab News

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