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It's the right thing to do for Germany to pursue ties with China in all areas, economically but also in the various dialogue formats we have about the rule of law and about human rights, during my visit, I again pointed out that upholding human rights is indispensable for us. This applies in general, and it also applies for the situation in Hong Kong, where we continue to view the principle of 'one country, two systems' as the right one.
We still have every chance of getting an orderly (Brexit) and the German government will do everything it can to make that possible - right up to the last day. But I also say we are prepared for a disorderly Brexit, but the fact remains that after the withdrawal of Britain, we have an economic competitor at our door, even if we want to keep close economic, foreign and security cooperation and friendly relations.
Germany can and will not uncouple itself from the development we seek all over the world. We see this in Germany as well, but in Germany obviously it always has to be seen in a certain context, the context of our past which means we have to be that much more vigilant than others. We have to tell our young people what history has brought over to others, and these horrors.
We hope that intensive discussions in London can lead even by next Wednesday, when we will have our extraordinary summit, to a position that British Prime Minister Theresa May can present to us, that we can then discuss, we will then stay together as 27. We will do everything, as I've already said, to the last hour, to prevent a disorderly exit.
Germany also does a lot for NATO. We are the second largest donor of troops, we put most of our military abilities into the service of NATO and we are strongly committed in Afghanistan, where we also defend the interests of President Trump of America. Because the deployment in Afghanistan has to do with the only example of Article 5.
I can't promise that there won't be disputes again about other issues, as this is usual when a government includes three parties, this time it was a heavy dispute about a topic that is also very emotional. But I firmly expect and I'll do my part to ensure that we do our government work in a good way, and not only now but also in the coming years.
The sum of all we've agreed is equivalent to what the CSU wants - that's my personal view, but the CSU must decide for themselves, it is also sustainable and in accordance with the European ideal. Europe is slow, and we aren't yet where we want to be... In my view Europe will be held together, otherwise free movement could have been in danger.
Europe faces many challenges, but that of migration couldbecome the make-or-break one for the EU, either we manage it, so others in Africa believe that weare guided by values and believe in multilateralism, not unilateralism, ornobody will believe any longer in the system of values that has made us strong.That’s why it’s so important.
As difficult as all of this might be, our geopolitical interest cannot be that Turkey -- which is after all a NATO partner -- continues to distance itself from us, that is why it is well worth it to stand for the German-Turkish relationships -- but on the basis of our values, our perceptions and in all transparency.
Nobody wants a long period of limbo. Neither the British people nor the European member states, everyone has an interest that the preparations are conducted in a thorough manner, that the positions are clear, and I think it is absolutely understandable that Britain needs a certain amount of time for this.
Negotiations with British governments are always taxing, interesting and tactically clever and even while competing with our negotiating strategies we try to work on an equal terms - it's always exciting, i mean even during Britain’s years as a member of the European Union the negotiations with Great Britain were never trivial.
It is not about more or less Europe but about delivering better results, our citizens often don't understand why we are doing something and what our goals are. All of us want to change this. It is not about changing the EU Treaty, about introducing more laws or less. It's about delivering on our goals.
We have a lot of progress in many countries, particularly those that have been through a (bailout) program we have reform efforts in Italy, I say finally ... those are important signals, we have a new course, directed toward business, in France that is good news. But we have also wasted a lot of time, and time is pressing.
To exclude groups of people because of their faith, this isn't worthy of the free state in which we live. It isn't compatible with our essential values. And its humanly reprehensible, xenophobia, racism, extremism have no place here. We are fighting to ensure that they don't have a place elsewhere either.
I have little hope on that front, the other sanctions were introduced in response to the intervention in eastern Ukraine. Fulfilling the entire Minsk agreement is the way to bring about a reversal (of sanctions) here. The entire Minsk agreement must be implemented before we can say these sanctions can be lifted.
I think one has to tell people and also the financial markets that I, a German chancellor and also the German government, has always pursued a policy of Greece staying in the euro zone and that also the commitments that we entered into between Greece and the troika, Greece and European member states, were abided by and respected, greece has actually made a lot of sacrifices. For many people in Greece these have been very difficult years. We've come a long way.
We have had to witness a shifting of borders in Europe, the annexation of Crimea and the questioning of territorial integrity – a core part of Europe's post-war model. The apparent right of whoever is strongest trumped the strength of law, russia has breached and is still breaching international law...neighboring states are suddenly no longer partner countries but spheres of influence.
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