Europe

Germany's Merkel to US: uphold, strengthen multilateralism

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and United States Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The annual weekend gathering is known for providing an open and informal platform to meet in close quarters. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and United States Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The annual weekend gathering is known for providing an open and informal platform to meet in close quarters. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and United States Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The annual weekend gathering is known for providing an open and informal platform to meet in close quarters. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and United States Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The annual weekend gathering is known for providing an open and informal platform to meet in close quarters. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and United States Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The annual weekend gathering is known for providing an open and informal platform to meet in close quarters. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and United States Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The annual weekend gathering is known for providing an open and informal platform to meet in close quarters. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is stressing the need to preserve and strengthen multilateral structures such as the European Union, NATO and the United Nations as she addresses a conference attended by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Merkel's address to the Munich Security Conference on Saturday came amid concern about the Trump administration's approach to international affairs and fears that it may have little interest in working in multilateral forums.

Merkel said that "acting together strengthens everyone." But she conceded: "We must see that the multilateral structures are in many places not efficient enough."

She added: "I am firmly convinced that it is worth fighting for our common international multilateral structures, but we must improve them in many places."

Pence is to address the Munich meeting after Merkel's speech.