tv Wolfgang Ischinger World in Danger CSPAN January 17, 2021 1:01pm-2:02pm EST
and how scary and horrifying. thank you, thank you for taking the time to read it and asked me these questions. because of the end of the day, to think that we -- i want people, after they read the book tv hopeful. because, whatever we do, we have to do it in a way that it can have a positive impact on generations to come. and i believe we can do that. this program is available as a podcast, all "after words" programs can be viewed on her website booktv.org. you are watching book tv on c-span2, every with the latest nonfiction books and authors.
a book tv on cspan2 created by america's cable television company. today were brought to buy these television companies, as a public service. hello my name is walter russell made him a distinguished fellow here hudson institute and the global view columnist for the wall street journal. today i have the pleasure of speaking with ambassador wolfgang ischinger about his new book world in danger, germany and europe and in uncertain times the future of the european union and transatlantic relations. ambassador during the german foreign service in 1975 served as deputy foreign minister and is director of policy planning and political director of the foreign ministry in the 1990s. he has been germany's ambassador to the united
states and as well to the united kingdom. ambassador has been chairman of the security conference since 2008 and teaches at the heritage school of governance in berlin as senior professor. he advises the private sector governments and international organizations on strategic issues, he's published widely in world in danger he identifies the origins of fissures in the global order and the problems they pose for germany in the union parties also offers a vision for the use of future which he hopes will be peaceful, prosperous, secure and influential. ambassador is great to see you again to hudson institute. thank you for agreeing to discuss your fascinating book with me this morning. the title of your book is a provocative one. especially coming from such a senior member of the german
foreign policy world. as you say the end of the cold war, which of the west in the political leadership believe the world was becoming a better and safer place. and now you are writing about our dangers. what has changed? what are the dangers? >> first of all walter, thank you for having me. it is such a pleasure to meet with you, if only virtually, i wish i could have traveled to washington and to new york to talk about my book and the future of transatlantic corporation now that we have had the elections in your country. but you know when i wrote the book and when we had to decide about the title, this was of course snack in the middle of
the trump years. and quite frankly, when we decided to call it, which translates into exactly into world in danger, some people said isn't this a little over-the-top? isn't this too catastrophic? is the world really in such bad shape? well, if i had had a chance eight months or ten months ago to review the title, i probably would have said we are all in great danger because we have seen, at least in my view a falling apart of the kind of global and regional order, so-called liberal international order builds on the idea of the rule of law. and of promoting democracy.
that kind of international order has tended to fall apart. and we were on lurkers, rather harmless onlookers for a significant period of time. i would say that at this very moment, at the beginning of december 2020, the outlook is beginning to be a little less agreement. because i think there are now wonderful, great opportunities waiting to be seized until very recently until early november, my view of the global situation, my view of the situation in and around europe was really quite grim. see what will come back to the question of how president-elect biden's
election may change are what a new american leadership might do, but i think it is, i think it's going to be helpful for an american audience to understand the nature of the concerns that you have. because it does seem that when i listen to chancellor miracle, to chancellor over at the european commission, all of them are really speaking in very new ways about germany's role in the world. and the need for kind of a strategic rethink. it would be helpful for an american audience to understand just how the german perception of the world and of the tasks confronting german foreign policy have changed in the last few years. it's you know it's not all about trump. there are many other things at work here. >> let me start by going back
to the moment of unification, reunification of germany. it was almost exactly 30 years ago, in october of 1990. that historic event, which brought peace to germany and the unification of the two parts, that created a situation in the minds of many millions of germans that now, paradise is about to begin. the red army is going to lead, the soviet army did leave because the soviet union was beginning to disintegrate within a year or year end a half of the moment of unification. and germans began to think that now things are fine. we can't just simply love the
status quo. we don't have to worry about being a frontline state anymore with hundreds of thousands of soviet troops on the other side. and the u.s. army and air force all over west germany helping to defend and to deter risks of war and conflict in central europe. now, in 2014, at the munich security conference which i have the privilege of organizing and chairing each year, the president of the federal republic of germany, at that time president gallic, dave a rather fundamental speech. he said germany should now wake up and accept a larger
responsibility for handling the future of europe and for tire -- participating in global affairs with that created quite a global debate. the interesting thing was this speech happened in february of 2014. and you know, what happened next was that the european security architecture, as we believed it had existed since the early 1990s, disintegrated in a big crash and in ukraine within a month of the munich security within a year to you head in the united states election of donald trump. no one in europe and thought that would be possible. and the same year our british neighbors decided to walk away from the european union. and i could continue with this
list of unexpected security related things that have been happening for the last five or six years. in other words, we have had a really serious wake-up call. it's going to be the narrative in germany is that when she came back from her first discussion with donald trump in the white house in washington in the spring of 2017, she spoke out and said i guess we cannot in the future, rely in the same way that we have relied for the last five, six decades on others contacting us and taking care of our security. i think we will have to handle a greater share of that
ourselves. that was a simple thing. in a longer speech, but it has created this awareness that the world is changing. and that there is no law of nature that would make it an eternal guarantee that the united states of america would always be there to handle our problems in europe. whether it's in ukraine, or syria, or elsewhere. whenever a political military problem arises the u.s. would solve it for us. we need to understand there is no automatic guarantee. we should hope that the united states would continue to define itself as a power in europe. a power present in europe and actively engaged in europe.
but we do have to do more about our own security. our own future. i think that is what has bothered us. what has concerned us this wake-up call came quite unexpectedly. especially for germans who thought we are now living in paradise. all our neighbors are our friends. we are surrounded by eu and nato partners for the soviet union is gone, why do we need to care? which led to a significant decrease in the german military which has led to the fact over the last decade or so, that people have not really been interested in issues of military, security, and defense. all the sudden we are finding out that if we don't participate in trying to
manage security issues weathers it's in africa or syria for the eastern ukraine, these conflicts will have a tendency of coming our way, there it is through terrorist movements or migratory as we have experienced since 2015. hundreds of thousands as you know, millions of migrants and refugees from syria from libya coming across the mediterranean or the vulcan, that has created a new sense of insecurity and the need to get our hands around these issues. that we cannot always expect the united states to come and bail us out. the back of this, i think you are right. and history keeps it moving, even when we feel we would like it to stop.
but i have noticed, maybe you can help me with this, it seems to me the group of political family has been the sort of most vocal about this. and that some other parties may be taking at little bit differently. the spd's and the greens part of the strategic rethink? or how are they processing this new world environment? >> guest: you're absolutely right. the left classically represented in germany by the democratic party by the spd, the left has had, if i may call it that kind of a pacifist streak a left wing that is not about putting in
nature when having american nuclear weapons on european soil, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. this weighing of the social democratic party has not held the idea in high esteem and it would be a great idea, a necessary idea in fact for us to meet the famous 2% goal that nato decided to define six years ago in 2014, spending 2% of gdp for defense. so yes we have political forces even within our current governing coalition that are not really in favor of moving in this direction. but, it's a big but, as you know we have connections coming up next september. and the likelihood is that we will not end up with the exact same kind of government coalition.
there is some likelihood that the next coalition government in germany would include the cdu, because it has maintained its status as the single biggest political force in germany. but the green party, the green party has risen over the years and is now de facto number two in a hierarchy of political forces. there is some likelihood i am not trying to predict the outcome, but there is at least a serious possibility that we might have the greens and the german government again. now remember we had the greens before, remember fisher and the greens in the days of 99, actually overcame the
resentment against the use of military force and accepted the idea that yes, if we have to participate in trying to prevent the general activity by the president and coast evoke, then we don't like it but we probably have to. the greens even then accepted the idea that the use of military force under special circumstances might be necessary and they agreed and the coalition at that time did not fall apart. the greens are now, 20 years later, there is a new generation coming up. and the greens are trying again to present themselves as a respectable, not as a far left her only green -- only committed to green issues kind of party, but as a serious political force. and i have heard leaders of
the green party speak out about the need to support nato. i have heard senior members of the green party speak out about supporting a bigger defense budget even. that is not going to go down very well with all of the wings of the green party. but simply to say things are changing, even in the german landscape, the german political landscape where for obvious, political and other reasons, the military has not enjoyed the kind of centrality that it might have enjoyed her might still be enjoying for example in your country or even in france or in the united kingdom. but things have changed. so i am not without some degree of optimism that the next german coalition will in fact follow this advice issued
or expressed six years ago, germany needs to take more responsibility, germany needs to accept a kind of co- leadership role, even on such painful issues as war and peace issues, conflict resolution issues together with france, together with other powers and the european union. >> host: and i know one of the reasons you wrote the book was to try and communicate this new strategic vision to a broader public audience in germany. how has, what is the response of the book been? and you think german public opinion which i think is behind the lead opinion a bit and this new thinking, how is that moving? what are the prospects? >> i think the, i would not overrate the relevance of my
book or of other publications. i would not want to overrate the importance of this. but, but, the lack of a strategic debate which was apparent, the lack was visible in german political culture, we did not have a meaningful strategic debate in the way you have it on many think tanks and institutions and government agencies in washington or in new york et cetera. that has started to change also. the german government accepted the fact that we needed to encourage think tanks to be developed and to be funded. the german government even put
some money aside to support a number of think tank activities in the area of security and defense. for example speaking of myself, as you mentioned at the beginning, i am a part-time teaching as a senior professor at the graduate school in berlin. it would not have been possible ten years ago to have a graduate seminar in downtown berlin on the question of what use for and how to think about nuclear weapons in europe. as part of our defensive and deterrent arrangements. ten years ago you would've had a bunch of left wing demonstrators outside your seminar room as they would have probably made it impossible for you to conduct your seminar.
my seminar for we discussed these types of issues has not been disturbed. so even in berlin, which berlin is not known as a conservative city, even in berlin's have started to change. i have not trying to suggest that we are now, that we are now free of problems, no, on the contrary. this is still an uphill battle. but, the point i am trying to make is because some politicians have started to talk about security, because a number of books have been published. because television debates have started to focus on the question of how are we supposed to protect, not only our own borders, but our partners rather whether they are eastern europe and some of
them are terribly afraid possible aggressive behavior as you know. how are we supposed to deal with the plate complex in our immediate neighborhood whether it's in libya, yemen, syria the ongoing conflicts. so how can we as a major economic power in europe, contribute to on alliteration. how can we help restore some kind of negotiation on the iranian nuclear program for example for this is important, it's important to israel to import into the united states, it's very important to us, i own country as a nonnuclear country. we don't like nuclear powers to pop up. whether it is in europe, southeast asia or elsewhere in the world.
>> one of the things i think both fascinates and perplexes americans when they look at european strategic discussions is the franco german relationship. we don't know where you agree or you disagree. but in some ways it seems that as germany is calling for more strategic autonomy and europe and certainly france has been calling for this at least since the time of charles de gaulle, and some ways the views are closer than before. and yet it also seems that some very significant differences remain. so how would you explain to a bunch of us poor perplexed americans what is this debate? and how should we understand it? spirit is a very interesting debate. it's a very interesting debate. but it's more of a debate about concepts and words that
about substance. let me be very clear. in germany, mainstream thinking i mean main stream government thinking, we need nato. we cannot guarantee our own survival. we cannot arrange to be safe from extortion, from military pressures. we as a non- nuclear company if we do not have a nuclear reassurance program, offered through nato by the united states for us, this is a sheer necessity. at the same time, we believe that in order to become a more
meaningful partner for the united states, we need in fact to build up our capabilities to act. and it really does not matter whether you speak of european sovereign teen or european strategic atomic, the german idea is let's build up our own capabilities to act militarily when that becomes necessary, that will make of us ate more meaningful, more respected partner of the united states. our french neighbors actually mean mostly the same thing but with a slight french touch. you know what i mean when i say this current discussion on the one hand and german leaders like our defense minister on the other hand, it reminds me a little bit of the
kinds of discussions we had in the 1960s between de gaulle and ayden hauer. do we really need the americans in europe? do we really need military integration and nato? maybe we don't. france regarded itself as more autonomous it was nuclear power and still is. there is a difference in how we approach this. but as a matter of fact in the real world we want the same thing. we want a more capable european union effort. we went to have a large contribution through the eu or directly to nato within that nato organization. so i would not attach
significant strategic importance to this current dispute. it is really the same story of french views versus german views from the 1960s to the present. some things in history do not change so quickly but it's really quite interesting. via item refers woodson churchill or said the heaviest cross i have diverse across of lorraine. [laughter] six is actually conrad who, i'm sorry it was a core who said and i remember because one time he actually said it in my presence, he said it is a mark idea to bow your head twice in front -- in other words playing special tributes
to france. i thought that was a smart move and he meant it seriously. when you consider the history of germany and france and the wars that have been fought, ever since 1870, 71 or up through the end of world war ii, it is probably a good idea to be extremely respectful of france if you come from germany. i think that has created a very, very trustful relationship. and i hope, yesterday, former president of france passed away at age 94 or so. those of us who are of the older generation will remember how, the president of france
and schmidt as the chancellor of germany and the late 1970s an early 1980s, work together to the benefit of a more capable european union. they work together, they were instrumental in creating the 5g, 60, seven arrangement together with president ford and others. there was a bold leadership at the time between germany and france. also on currency issues, economic issues. when i consider the passing, i would say my wish would be that we would see over the coming. come after the german elections was up for election year later, i would hope that we would see the reemergence of franco german leadership to
take the european union to the next level. if the germans and the french don't show some leadership qualities, who should? student as i look at american foreign-policy these days. i see two areas of consensus, even in our current distracted state. one is that the united states needs to do more in the endo pacific. and the other is if possible we should try to figure out how to do less in the middle east. you can talk people from the far left to the far right and you tend to hear that consensus. obviously a lot of disagreement on how to do it and priorities and so on and so forth. both of those pose interesting questions for europeans. because it does involve a
further shift of the american kind of center of gravity of foreign-policy from "the atlantic" to the endo pacific. but also given the state of the middle east, any sign of an america that was trying to reduce its responsibilities or activities in the middle east, thieves and a normative vacuum. now in the 19th century europe might've said hot and opportunity. we can expand our influence, we can gain power. now i think the feeling is so my gosh, what a terrible, this is a burden. this is a problem. what does europe do with the middle east in your thinking? what is the european approach if the americans are in fact they would not say stepping out completely, but stepping back a bit? >> first of all, i would say
it is not in the interest of the european union that the united states withdraws more than has already been the case from the middle east. i don't think that we would be in a position to try to replace the role which the united states has played for the last half-century in the middle east. the first signs of withdrawal from the region by not the trump administration but during the obama years, remember the redlines with the sand of syria, et cetera, that has lit in my view at least a kind of series of shockwaves among the rulers of the middle
east. and if you point out correctly , within international diplomacy if there is a vacuum they will not be a vacuum for a long time. others will try to fill the void and step in. we have seen that russia has of course taken advantage of the opportunity of establishing themselves, reestablishing themselves if you wish as a major presence at least in some parts of the region, china is increasing its influence. are we, the eu capable of playing a strategic road in the region? i don't think even as an optimist as an diplomatic optimist it would be definitely in the interest of europe to have the united
states continue to be present in the middle east and to play a significant role. how could we even think about creating an atmosphere of negotiation about the iranian nuclear ambition if the united states were not a very active and probably were not the leading participant in such an enterprise. so, i would urge the united states not to walk away on the middle east. the other issue which you mentioned walter is of course the endo pacific is china. and that is in my view going to be the single biggest challenge for the transatlantic community not just in the months but in the
years to come my own, just very briefly my understanding, tell me if i'm wrong, my understanding is that there is significant bipartisan agreement in washington that the more confrontational position adopted by the trump administration, china was not wrong. and even joe biden as i recalled i will be tough on china. well if that is the american approach to china, the european approach at this moment is not quite there. we have seen a significant change in the way we think about china. we tended to think about china as a place where we can export
a huge number of bmws and volkswagens. that tended to be the end of verse or two chicks out about china. that has changed fortunately. we are now even adopting papers in the eu about china as a systemic arrival, not only as a partner but as a systemic arrival so there is a change in language, there is a change in understanding. i think most in europe continue to believe that it should be possible on the basis of such great principles as reciprocity, it should be possible to have, to create a level playing field for investment for property for trade. for work on climate et cetera et cetera. in other words we are not
quite where the united states is in terms of a more robust confrontation. i think the big, big challenge ahead for the transatlantic community is going to create a mechanism that would allow the united states and european partners to have a very, very intense on going process on how to coordinate on china. i think if we do this right, we will find a significant number of areas where we look at things in the same way whether it's rights, hong kong, or territorial claims in the south china seas et cetera. so i can see significant opportunities. but defining what that means and what our. [inaudible]
, should be including dealing with china including the sentient question for example there will be significant changes between european views and american views. i think this is going to be a really long term serious diplomatic challenge to our leaders on both sides of the theater. i think in a group which i chaired a few months ago, together with karen of the german marshall fund we proposed that transatlantic commission should be set up to handle this problem on the american side we said why not do it at the level four example of the vice president of the united states? not just the secretary of state or secretary of defense, but a role that would include all aspects of government to government relations. and on the european side may be the president or where the vice president of european union commission along with very senior representatives of
those major countries that have important stakes in dealing with china. such as germany. in terms of trade as you know, we have a very, very significant stake in keeping the relationship on china on an even keel. stomach that is very interesting. one thing that definitely comes to my mind as i hear that is that countries and agent would like to be representative that commission as well japan, even india that for these countries anything that sounds like a china governance mechanism from which they are excluded, sets up problems that become problems in bilateral relations between the u.s. and the those countries. stomach at think this needs to
be such an effort needs to be led by the united states for one very simple reason. we, the european union, are not seen as a significant player by our partners in asia. a player in terms of strategic assessment and strategic action. we are going to be capable of occasionally sending a warship to the asia pacific waters. but we don't have course in the way the united states does, military forces in asia. we don't have treaty commitments or arrangements with countries in the region like you do with south korea, with japan and others. so, clearly we can only
comment we could at best play a complementary role. but i think the efforts to organize a policy, a western policy on china a western approach on china, a coordinated approach on china, needs american leadership insufficient american leadership that ensure countries like australia and maybe even india and singapore and others, would indeed be happy to participate. >> host: that is a very interesting idea that the u.s. should be trying to convene some sort of group of that kind. >> your analysis of the prospects for relations with russia seemed quite pessimistic. has anything happened to
change that assessment? that is not seem to be much chance of a reset with the new administration and that u.s. or a change in russia's approach to europe. that was the impression i had from the book. >> let me start with the good news. i think there is at least some hope that we could see a kickstart, a restart of arms-control discussions. i think that is overdue. i find it regrettable that the trump administration has not been able to agree with russia for example to extend the so call new start treaty. i think this is in everybody's interest. so if, let's assume the biden administration is capable of
working with the russians to extend the treaty and may be provisionally in the beginning, and then add some other arms-control questions to that that would at least, that would at least open a possible channel of communication on important areas of security and hopefully also security cooperation which we have not had in recent years. let me put it very bluntly. it takes two to tango. from a german point of view, we have always said that we don't want to see a development of our relationship with russia that is antagonistic.
we actually want to express the kind of debt of gratitude that we have with the former soviet union when it actually agreed to the unification of our country in 8990. and you know, on the third of october of 1990 at the ceremony celebrating german unity, the president of germany at the time, gave what i thought was a very thoughtful speech. one paragraph of that speech was devoted to the soviet union still existed in 1990. and he said now that the wall dividing the two parts of berlin, now that the wall dividing the two parts of
germany, now that the wall that has divided europe, is about to disappear, it must be our responsibility to make sure there will not be a new dividing wall built the kilometers to the east, speaking of course of the western border of russia. and fortunately i have to say that is exactly what happened. and it is not and my view, it is not our fault it is the consequence of actions taken by the russian government, whether it was 2008 military conflict with georgia whether it was 2014 events of crime,
including the annexation of crimea et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. but our senses in berlin, we should try to signal to russia that our door is open. if russia at some point in the future recognizes again on the safest orders because not one nato member harbors any aggressive thoughts were not going to attack russia. we are going to be available as technology providers and technology partners to russia. so i hope at some point in the future russia leadership will realize again there is a lot to be said again we have seen
very little willingness by the russian government and recent years to tango with us. so my thought as a practicing diplomat is we need strategic patients. you need to wait for the right moment to come. i'm sure it will come at some points. so we will just have to keep our door open. at the same time, we need to do everything in order to make sure we cannot, that no one will think that he could, that would be vulnerable to extortion or military pressure. that is why it's returned to my earlier point that is why we definitely need continued strong and credible nato
relationship. with the united states, present in europe. i think that no one understands this better than the former senator joe biden who actually, joe biden actually wrote a message with munich security conference celebrated its 50th anniversary five years ago. in this message he wrote, and i quote from memory, when i first participated in munich, and 1980, it was still called. [inaudible] it had a different name then. so what this means is your future president participated in this international security
conference 40 years ago in 1980. and i cannot think of a single leader, western leader or non- western leader in 2021 who could claim he has been around a national security for 40 years. the only person who could claim that is queen elizabeth i guess. but she is not an executive president. so joe biden i think, at least from our point of view brings to the presidency a very deep understanding and knowledge of the evolution of the transatlantic relationship of the region why we think have nato is good. it's in the interest of the united states et cetera.
be a number of low hanging fruit and european allies the claimant accord for example. at least offering to enter into a discussion with the iranians that would be another one, starting arms-control discussions with the russians, et cetera. i think there is enormous opportunities waiting to be seized in coming months. >> host: i certainly get the impression that reflects the thinking hereto. that early on and the new administration there would be a real effort to harvest some of that low hanging fruit. one problem i do see with sort
of u.s., european relations and maybe it is a larger session of part of a larger u.s. problem is that when european countries meet in their prime ministers sign agreements, those are seem to have a legal force. the intergovernmental agreement or binding on successors and so on. the u.s. constitutional system there really is no way that a president can unilaterally, legally bind the united states to anything really. and only the treaty ratification process can require his successors to follow that. and so we saw office of the j the poa the claimant accords with that can mean when you have presidents with death different points of view succeeding each other.
how does one, from the standpoint of american partners, who must now go into a negotiation with the biden administration in any american president and renewed sense of these agreements, how does that work in the international context? >> you put your finger on what i think is a painful point. let me speak very bluntly about it. for half a century, europeans had tended to think we can consider the partnership of the united states, the presence of the united states politically and militarily is a very important leader and partner. we can't take that for granted.
and an agreement is an agreement. sure it will be respected. the fact that president trump was able to walk away from the jc poa, that he was able to say no to the invitation of the paris climate deal, has changed the way europeans think about the reliability of the united states. there is this creeping glory among some really serious german thinkers who say that what's assume we have like a honey moon now for the next two, three, even four years with president biden and his team. but what if four years from now, 50000 voters in arizona or 20000 and georgia would turn the united states the
other way? creating potentially huge security, political and other issues for the transatlantic relationship. and for our own security. in other words, one of my german friends put it bluntly he said do we what to make our security dependent on what a bunch of voters in some parts of the united states may wish to say or do for your serve now? so, i think there is now a reliability problem that was not there before trump. i think this is going to be one of the challenges for president biden and his team to explain to europeans at the united states is in fact a reliable partner. how can this be demonstrated? i am aware that it is very
difficult given the current polarization in american politics to get the senate to agree to major international agreements. but of course it would be highly desirable. it would be highly desirable from a european point of view i don't to sound political, i want to stay away from american electoral politics of course. from the point of view of u.s. reliability as international actor, it would of course be very, very welcome if the senate the one institution and congress that has to say yes to a treaty in order to make it stick, would be great if that senate were of -- had a majority to the executive branch of government. the fact that we have not had that recently has been a
burden on the reliability and the credibility of the united states quite clearly. but i understand the constitutional ramifications and we have to live with it. i cannot think of a better person that let me build a on a positive note i can't think of a better person than your president elect to explain to -- to walk around european capitals as a kind of a walking confidence kind of measure. he himself i think will be looked at as somebody who we can trust. so i think if there is anybody around who can mitigate this particular problem he is very well-equipped to do that.
>> that would be, that is very interesting i want to thank you for a conversation i won't say the conversation was as interesting as the book, for one thing we did not get into your equestrian based personal relationship with elizabeth. and some other things i think would make people quite interested in the book. >> guest: and my visit my invitation to mar-a-lago. in 2005. i had no idea that i was being invited by a person who's going to be a decade later the president of the united states. so diplomacy sometimes offers funny opportunities. zürich i also see the president elect is taken your advice about getting a dog. [laughter] that although for him it has not worked out quite as well yet as it did for you. [laughter] exactly. [laughter] >> anyway it is a great
pleasure to honor, to have this conversation with you. and thank you very much for your time and for the work that you do. >> thank you so much walter have great respect for your work and let me just express the wish that hopefully soon next year we will have opportunities again across "the atlantic" to meet in person. not only by the telephone or our laptops, you can do a lot via these virtual systems. but the fundamental business of trust building which is the essence of diplomacy and international relations at some point also requires to sit opposite a table or taking a walk together. it is difficult to achieve these objectives only via
virtual means bread hope next year be a better year than 2020. but so do i, and i have to say so far it's looking good but thank you very much i hope to see you in person before long. subject thank you so much, thank you very much, pleasure to speak with you, stay healthy state healthy thank you very much. : :