BERLIN, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that Europe should form a "counterweight" to the United States whenever Washington "crosses red lines."
In a guest commentary published online Tuesday for German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Maas said Germany wants a "balanced partnership" with the United States, in which it "brings its weight where the U.S. withdraws."
"Single-handedly, we will fail in this task. The outstanding goal of our foreign policy is therefore to build a sovereign, strong Europe. Only in close cooperation with France and other Europeans can a balance with the United States succeed," said Maas.
"Europe relies on the strength of law, respect for the weak, and the experience that international cooperation is not a zero-sum game," according to Maas.
Maas said Europe needs to set up a payment system independent of the United States if it wants to save the nuclear deal.
"That's why it is indispensable that we strengthen European autonomy by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States, a European Monetary Fund and an independent SWIFT system...," he wrote.
"Given the circumstances, it is of strategic importance that we tell Washington clearly: we want to work together," Maas wrote. "But we will not allow you to hurt our interests without consulting us."