Merkel Tells Pence No Nation Can Master World's Challenges Alone

  • German chancellor gives speech to Munich Security Conference
  • ‘These great global crises can only be resolved together’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a shot across the bows of the U.S. drive toward protectionism with a call for broad multilateral cooperation, saying that no nation can resolve the world’s crises on its own.

Addressing an audience that included U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on Saturday, the chancellor argued for improving the international institutions that have underpinned the global order to safeguard them. She cited the financial crisis to argue that working together strengthens all concerned.

Mike Pence and Angela Merkel in Munich on Feb. 18.

Photographer: Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

“No nation can resolve the world’s problems alone,” Merkel said in a speech to the Munich Security Conference. “These great global crises can only be resolved together.”

Merkel, as the leader of Europe’s biggest economy, holder of the current Group of 20 presidency and the longest-serving G-7 leader, took up the call of multilateralism amid anxiety over President Donald Trump’s calls for “America First.” She is due to hold talks with Pence in Munich, her highest level contact with the new U.S. administration to date.

“We all feel a sense of unbelievable challenges, that something is really at stake -- whether we’ll all act together, or step back from our individual roles,” Merkel said. “I call on all of us -- and I hope that we can find a common position -- let’s make the world better together, then it will be better for all of us.”

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