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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Germany vows greater security role over Russian threat

Germany pledged Wednesday to assume a greater role in global security, pointing to the strategic threat posed by Russia and other looming dangers.

In its first big-picture defense paper in a decade, Europe's top economy said it would work with EU and NATO allies to tackle cross-border challenges from Islamist terrorism to climate change and migrant flows.

"Germany is a globally highly connected country that - due to its economic, political and military weight, but also in view of its own vulnerability - has a responsibility to actively help shape the world order," says the so-called White Paper.

Germany is ready to "help meet current and future security and humanitarian challenges," said the road map approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet and to be presented later by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

The strategic outlook is seen as a milestone for a country that, burdened by guilt about Nazi terror and the Holocaust, for decades stepped softly on the world stage.

More recently, Germany has deployed troops to Afghanistan, Mali and elsewhere, and backed the multinational alliance against the Islamic State group by arming Kurdish fighters in Iraq and flying surveillance missions over Syria.

Merkel has taken a key role in seeking to defuse the West's conflict with Russia over the Ukraine crisis, but last week also pledged troops to bolster NATO in eastern Europe from next year.

The paper points out that "Russia is turning away from a close partnership with the West and emphasizing strategic rivalry."

It also lists dynamic and interconnected challenges in a world where emerging powers in Asia and South America are assuming a greater role and  stretches through the Middle East and Central Asia.
[AFP/newz.gr]
13/7/16

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