'It's complicated', German minister says of ties with U.S.


© Reuters. German FM Maas meets Italian counterpart Di Maio in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s relationship with the United States is “complicated”, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a newspaper interview, regretting the planned withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Germany.

President Donald Trump has ordered the U.S. military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

“Should it come to the withdrawal of part of the U.S. troops, we take note of this. We appreciate the cooperation with the U.S. forces that has developed over decades. It is in the interests of both our countries,” Maas told Bild am Sonntag.

Maas acknowledged problems in Germany’s relationship with the United States, saying: “We are close partners in the transatlantic alliance. But: It is complicated.”

On Saturday, senior lawmakers from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservative bloc criticised Trump’s decision to order the U.S. military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany.

A U.S. official, who did not want to be identified, said on Friday the troops move was the result of months of work by the top U.S. military officer, General Mark Milley, and had nothing to do with tensions between Trump and Merkel, who thwarted Trump’s plan to host a G7 meeting this month.

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