Germany gets British support for UN Security Council seat

BERLIN (AP) — The German and British foreign ministers have agreed to hold an annual “strategic dialogue” on international affairs, in a joint statement that supports a permanent seat for Germany on the U.N. Security Council.

The joint declaration signed by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and U.K. counterpart Dominic Raab, released Wednesday by the German foreign ministry, declares the two countries’ desire to cooperate to “provide responsible leadership on foreign policy issues in support of multilateralism and a rules-based international order.”

The declaration, aimed at reinforcing cooperation between the two European powers after Britain left the European Union, said that “we affirm our commitment to the strategic unity of Europe and our joint unconditional commitment to Euro-Atlantic security.” It underlines that EU membership “remains a key reference point” for Germany and that Berlin supports cooperation between the EU and the U.K.

Germany has sought for years to gain a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, where the U.K. and EU partner France are permanent members, but so far has made little headway. The German-British statement vows to advance reform of the U.N.’s top body and says: “We support a new permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council for the Federal Republic of Germany.”

The statement comes ahead of Friday’s visit to Britain by Chancellor Angela Merkel. She plans to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson at his country retreat, Chequers, and Queen Elizabeth II will receive her for a private audience at Windsor Castle, Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday.

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