21:42 GMT13 June 2021
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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - During a recent phone conversation, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed a range of issues, including Russia, Europe's energy policy, as well as the situation in the Middle East, the German Federal Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

    "FM @HeikoMaas discussed with @SecBlinken that de-escalation in the #MiddleEast is key priority at the moment. We will both continue to use our diplomatic channels to this end. Other topics included transatlantic cooperation, Russia, and European energy policy", the foreign office wrote on Twitter.

    The officials spoke on Tuesday. Following their conversation, the US Department of State said that Maas and Blinken discussed the importance of transatlantic cooperation in order to manage alleged challenges posed by Russia and China, as well as troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, among other things.

    Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a news conference to announce the annual International Religious Freedom Report at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
    © AP Photo / Andrew Harnik
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a news conference to announce the annual International Religious Freedom Report at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

    Additionally, Blinken expressed Washington's opposition to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. The statement followed Axios reports, citing sources, that US President Joe Biden's administration would waive sanctions against the corporate entity and the top executive managing the construction of the pipeline, using US national interests as justification.

    Tags:
    Antony Blinken, Heiko Maas, US, Germany
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