“International responsibility first”

Federal Foreign Minister Gabriel put a strong case against purely national interests in his speech to the UN General Assembly.

Sigmar Gabriel: „European and international responsibility first“
Sigmar Gabriel: „European and international responsibility first“ dpa

New York (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned against “national egoism” in his first speech before the UN General Assembly on Thursday, in an apparent refutal of US President Donald Trump's “America first” mantra.

“The 'our country first' slogan is only leading to more national confrontations and lower prosperity. At the end of the day there are only losers here,” Gabriel said, without mentioning Trump by name. “We have to rise against this world view, we need more international cooperation and less national egoism - not the other way round.”

The 'our country first' slogan is only leading to more national confrontations and lower prosperity. At the end of the day there are only losers here.

Federal Foreign Minister Gabriel

Gabriel called for a strengthening of the UN, citing the advantages international and European cooperation had brought to Germany. “It is not 'Germany first' which made our country strong and wealthy, but 'European and international responsibility first,' which gave Germans peace and prosperity,” Gabriel said.

“The world needs new trust”

“What the world needs most urgently is new trust,” Gabriel said, reiterating Germany's commitment to the Iran nuclear deal and warning that withdrawing from the deal would make it harder to reach agreement with North Korea on its nuclear programme. “Because what country is going to agree to step back from its nuclear programme, if it turns out that an agreement won't be upheld and isn't worth the paper it’s written on?”

Trump has long been a critic of the deal and threatened to withdraw from it during last year's presidential campaign. On Tuesday in his speech at the UN, he called it “an embarrassment” to the US. Trump says he has made a decision on the deal, but has yet to say what that is.

Gabriel also addressed spiralling tensions on the Korean peninsula due to North Korea's repeated missile and nuclear tests. “Striving for nuclear armament cannot be seen as a recipe for success in international politics,” Gabriel said.

Germany is seeking a term on the UN Security Council from 2019 to 2020.

Source: dpa