Wallace and Kramp-Karrenbauer discuss security
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer have discussed European and wider international security at a meeting at Horse Guards Parade.
Discussing recent political troubles, both the UK’s Defence Secretary and German Defence Minister agreed that the UK and Germany should continue to hold Iran to account for its destabilising and dangerous actions in the Middle East, while encouraging it to de-escalate and seek a more peaceful path. The pair discussed some of the global challenges facing both countries, including tensions in the Gulf.
Regarding Brexit, Wallace used the meeting to stress that the UK remained unwavering in its commitment to European security as it gets ready to withdraw from the EU at the end of January and underlined the importance of NATO to European defence. Germany and the UK currently lead NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroups in Lithuania and Estonia respectively.
Wallace said: “Our two nations share a passionate belief in democracy, justice and tolerance. That’s why our Armed Forces deploy on many of same missions around the globe – from countering terrorism as part of the Global Coalition against Daesh to deterring Russian aggression as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltics. I’m delighted that strong relationship is reflected in the fact that Germany will host the 2022 Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, showcasing the remarkable tenacity and resolve of our personnel.”
Kramp-Karrenbauer said that the EU should offer Britain ‘privileged third-party status’ in defence and foreign policy cooperation after Brexit, including access to projects such as Future Combat Air System, the Franco-German stealth jet programme.
She also stressed how much Germany welcomed the rapidly developing format of the so-called ‘EU 3’, comprising of Germany, France and the UK, cooperating over defence and foreign policy. Here she cited the recent examples of Iran, where the three have tried to keep the nuclear deal intact despite the US’s withdrawal, and Libya.