Merkel presses Biden to lift European travel ban related to coronavirus
Joe Biden said that after Angela Merkel put pressure on the matter, he would be ready to announce “in the next few days” when the United States may lift the travel ban on European countries related to the new crown virus.
“Now it’s in progress. I will be able to answer your question in the next few days,” Biden said at a press conference with Merkel, who was her last visit to Washington as German Chancellor.
“I am waiting for news from people on our Covid team about when we should do this. The Prime Minister did raise it.”
U.S. President’s remarks bring hope Timetable for closing Pandemic era restrictions on travel between the United States and European countries in the Schengen area. These restrictions have been in place since the first few weeks of the outbreak Coronavirus pandemic last year.
But U.S. officials refused to lift the travel ban, and Merkel acknowledged the spread of the epidemic Delta variant It is “a new challenge to both of us”.
“Before making such a decision, people must reflect, and it must be a sustainable decision. It is certainly unwise to have to take it back after only a few days. So I… have confidence in the US Covid team,” Mo Kerr said.
Biden and Merkel said they also discussed the controversial North Stream 2 Pipeline, Which will transport Russian natural gas to Europe.
The German-backed pipeline is about to be completed and will allow Russia to bypass Ukraine when sending natural gas to Europe. Critics say this will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and make Ukraine more vulnerable to pressure from the Kremlin.
On Thursday, Merkel said that she and Biden had reached “different assessments.” “Our thinking is and remains that Ukraine is still a transit country for natural gas. Ukraine has territorial sovereignty like any other country in the world.”
Biden said, “A good friend can disagree.” He and Merkel discussed “practical measures” that Berlin and Washington can take together.
The two leaders also talked about a common attitude towards China, although there are significant differences on this issue. Although Biden urged Europe to support a tougher approach to Beijing, German political institutions have been worried about being dragged into a new Cold War.
Although Merkel has always emphasized the necessity of establishing a partnership with China, she said on Thursday, “There is a lot of consensus that China is our competitor in many fields, and trade with China needs to be established on the basis that we have a level playing field. Assuming above. Let us all… play according to the same rules”.