World Media

Pompeo visits Germany as tensions rise between US, Iran

Share
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gesture as they leave after speaking to reporters at the Chancellery in Berlin Germany

It is the first of his four-nation European trip, during which he also will visit Switzerland and the Netherlands before joining President Donald Trump on his state visit to Britain.

Mike Pompeo is making his first visit to Germany as secretary of state at the start of a four-nation European trip as tensions rise between the US and Iran. "It's no secret that we differ on how to achieve that".

Maas, speaking at his earlier press conference with Pompeo Friday morning, said the two countries "are now going in different ways" on Iran. Germany, like many of its European partners, remains skeptical of the Trump administration's hardline stance towards Iran - including its decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Speaking after a meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin on Friday, Pompeo warned that the USA might have to withhold data on citizens or on national security if it didn't have confidence in the networks Germany was using.

"We've been pretty clear about how we view the risks connected to Huawei and 5G infrastructure".

Maas reiterated that Germany was not prepared to exclude any company from bidding but said any firm that could not meet security standards would be rejected.

The US government accuses the Nato-Partner Germany's lack of military spending, criticized the German-Russian Pipeline project, Nord Stream 2 is sharp, and has threatened punitive tariffs due to the German trade surplus. "We are working (on this), in particular, within the framework of the Group of Seven, and this is an important step for further development of Ukraine", Maas said.

Pompeo met Chancellor Angela Merkel a day after she delivered not-so-veiled criticism of Trump in a commencement speech to Harvard University.

Pompeo refused to comment, however, on whether the US was prepared to sanction German companies involved in the project.

Merkel said before the meeting with Pompeo they would discuss how to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons and "how we prevent other aggressive actions by Iran". She received standing ovations for demanding that people should not "describe lies as truth and truth as lies".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exits his plane upon arrival at Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, Friday, May 31, 2019. They took no questions.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, responding to similar comments on Huawei made by US Vice President Mike Pence in Canada on Thursday, said the US had yet to prove that Huawei's products presented a security risk.

Share