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Saturday, 1 February 2014

Germany seeks bigger role on global issues

Following years of restraint in foreign policy, Germany seemed to be rethinking its role on international issues, as shown by remarks of its leaders and senior officials on Friday, the first day of the 50th Munich Security Conference.

"Are we doing what we can to stabilize our neighborhood in the east and in Africa? Are we doing what we should to counter the dangers of terrorism? What role do we want to play in crisis in distant parts of the world?" asked President Joachim Gauck at the opening of the three-day conference.

Addressing top decision-makers from around the world, the president said that despite domestic debates that more responsibilities would mean more trouble, Germany should do more to guarantee global security.


"There are people in Germany that use the guilt for the past as a shield for laziness or desire for disengagement in the world," he said, adding that Germany could not hope to be spared of world conflicts and that consequences of inaction could be as serious as, if not worse than, the consequence of taking action.

"Germany should make a more substantial contribution, and should make it earlier and more decisively if it wants to be a good partner," Gauck said.

His remarks was echoed by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who said in the conference that Germany was ready to shoulder more responsibilities.

Germany would remain engaged in the north of Afghanistan "to support Afghanistan on its own path towards stability and peace," she said, adding that her country was also willing to support an upcoming mission of the European Union (EU) in the Central African Republic.

"Indifference is not an option for Germany," said von der Leyen. "As a major economy and a country of significant size, we have a strong interest in international peace and stability. Given these facts, the federal government is prepared to enhance our international responsibility."

Earlier this month, the minister said she aimed to increase German armed forces deployed abroad. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also said in an interview on Thursday that Germany should be more involved in handling conflicts.

In a speech scheduled for Saturday in the conference, Steinmeier will explain more about Germany's foreign policy.

German top officials' recent remarks are expected to be welcomed by the country's western allies, which have been annoyed by Germany's military restraint. A recent poll, however, showed that more than half of Germans do not want to send troops abroad. 

 http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/840475.shtml#.Uuzah_tTNqg
1/2/14

1 comment:

  1. Konferenz in München: Steinmeier verspricht aktivere deutsche Sicherheitspolitik...

    Weltpolitisch soll Deutschland deutlich stärker eigene Impulse setzen. Das hat auf der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz nun auch Außenminister Steinmeier gefordert. Militärische Einsätze sollen aber letztes Mittel bleiben................http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/sicherheitskonferenz-steinmeier-will-aktivere-deutsche-aussenpolitik-a-950518.html
    1/2/14

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