Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, May 24, 2018

German ambassador talks Syria, economics

German ambassador talks Syria, economics
German Ambassador Peter Ammon speaks to students in the School of International Service.

Clarification appended

German Ambassador to the United States Peter Ammon assured AU students Nov. 13 that the economic situation in Europe is not as dire as it seems.

“There are so many prejudices flowing around,” Ammon told the audience of about 100 in the School of International Service Founder’s Room. “It’s wrong to be pessimistic about the United States, and it’s very wrong to be pessimistic about Europe.”

Ammon expressed confidence in trans-Atlantic economics, saying that the U.S. and European Union together account for half of the world’s economy, with 600,000 U.S. jobs created through German investment.

The event was hosted by Delta Phi Epsilon and sponsored by the German Embassy’s “Think Transatlantic” initiative.

Ammon painted a picture of Germany and the EU as staunch allies of the U.S. in the foreign policy arena, saying that EU countries were the first to join the U.S. in the 2001 war in Afghanistan.

The ambassador also condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the recent civil war in his country.

Ammon said that while Germany has applied tough economic sanctions on the nation of nearly 21 million people, they have not decided on a military or humanitarian intervention, saying that forcing democracy on Syria would fail.

“Democracy will only flourish if there is [Syrian] ownership of the process,” he said.

Clarification: The ambassador talked about the ongoing wars in Syria and Afghanistan, but the headline originally implied a more aggressive stance when it said Ammon "talked war."

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