GERMAN Chancellor Helmut Kohl told a meeting of United States governors that he supports President Clinton's focus on domestic issues and his efforts to build a stronger US.
``Only a strong America can meet its global responsibility,'' Mr. Kohl said. ``America's role is not over yet. The long-term safeguarding of freedom, democracy, and the free market in the formerly communist part of Europe is a gigantic task. It is the major future task for you, for us, and for our partners.''
Showering thanks on the US for its role in rebuilding Germany after World War II and rolling back Soviet communism, Kohl spoke in personal terms of what American help had meant. He recalled that he was only 15 when the war ended.
``We were starving,'' he said. ``Hunger is a very, very bitter experience.'' Yet America forgave its former foes and helped rescue his battered nation, he noted.
He was warm in praise of Presidents Reagan and Bush for standing with Europe at a critical moment in the contest with the Soviets. He also said Mr. Clinton was emerging as a ``reliable'' partner.
Much remains to be done. ``Europe needs America'' and ``America needs Europe,'' he said to the governors. Nationalism remains a threat until Europe is truly unified, he said. ``The evil spirits of nationalism are not at large only in the Balkans,'' he said.
The chancellor asked the governors to understand that international trade in areas like agriculture requires compromise. He noted that a typical German farm has only 69 acres, compared to 461 in the US. To lower all trade barriers could wipe out a rural way of life in Germany and undermine a stable social structure, he said. So some compromises will be necessary.