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As a result of an agreement between both US authorities and the German government and due to be signed in Berlin this week, the American ambassador to Germany will return to Washington in the middle of the week. The move will come as a surprise to some German officials, who are not known for their good relations with Washington, but who have no doubt at least the German ambassador to the US will return home. The reason the German embassy, which has been based in the US embassy since 1946, could not have its own diplomatic property, is mainly because it is owned by the European Union. This decision was, in fact, the result of many years of discussions, many years of conversations that began in the Obama administration, in the State Department and during the transition from the Bush administration. In October 2014, Germany and the EU established a working group, which was formally agreed this year. According to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, this is a first in European history, which “recognised that this kind of cross-border partnership exists between two EU member states”. The agreement signed between the federal government and the German government will take effect at midnight on Wednesday (4.30pm in Germany) and last for 10 years. According to the German publication Die Welt, which spoke to a German diplomat from the United States embassy on Thursday (11.11.2014) (in German); “this will be the first occasion that an American official will return home to the US”. (This is not to imply the US ambassador is a German citizen or is a German diplomat: this was the reason that the German government chose not to announce his return in January 2015. The American Consul General was due to hold a press conference on the same day that the government announced his departure. This was due to be conducted in Germany on March 3, 2015.)
On the one hand, Germany and the US are pleased with the working group deal. It shows that “there are no hard borders when it comes to international diplomacy in Europe – it should be no surprise he will return home”, commented one official familiar with the American negotiations. This also means “there will be no questions for the new US leadership” in Europe, another official from the German government told Die Welt.
On the other hand, the German government’s decision means an end to the American-German bilateral relationship of the past, and also a deterioration in the bilateral cooperation, said a German government official, who also commented on the
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