German president quits -

German president quits

Horst Koehler resigns following criticism of remarks about military


German President Horst Koehler has said he will resign immediately after coming under fire for linking German military missions, such as the Afghanistan deployment, with the defense of economic interests. In a radio interview earlier this month, Koehler made the controversial remark that it is sometimes necessary for Germany, an export-oriented country, to deploy troops “to protect our interests… for example free trade routes.” The statement was highly unpopular with German politicians, and led to accusations of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ and embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. In announcing his resignation, Koehler said he regretted that his comments led to a misunderstanding about a difficult question for the nation, and that “it was an honour for me to serve Germany as president,” the BBC reports. Jens Boehrnsen, speaker of the parliament’s upper house and member of the opposition Social Democratic Party, will serve as interim president.

BBC News

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