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Germany ready to play leading security role: Defence Minister Boris Pistorius

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WASHINGTON: German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius has assured Washington that Berlin is prepared to play a leading security policy role in Europe and will provide the military capabilities to do so.

“Let us – the US and Germany together – shape a future with all those who stand up for freedom, peace and the rules-based international order, ” Pistorius said in a keynote speech at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington on Thursday.

Germany is a steadfast ally and is able and willing to fulfil its role in the alliance and global politics, Pistorius said.

The Minister said that Germany was in the midst of a military build-up process and had abandoned the restraint it had long cultivated – as in the supply of weapons to war zones.

He said he wanted to address the fact that Germany had abandoned compulsory military service and said that “times have changed.” He spoke of a “mistake” and said: “I am convinced that Germany needs some kind of military conscription.”

The Europeans are also aware that the US is focussing its attention on the Indo-Pacific and must respond to China’s armament, aggressive economic policy and striving for geopolitical dominance. Germany is determined to make a contribution to a rules-based order there too, he said.

“I am convinced that only together, America and Europe can keep the West strong, defending it against Russia’s expansionist ambitions and other actors’ hunger for power and supremacy, ” said Pistorius.

“My message to you today is: Just like we did in other key moments in our transatlantic partnership, such as the Berlin airlift, the Marshall Plan or the reunification of Germany, let us seize this transatlantic opportunity, once more, ” he added.

The Marshall Plan was a US programme that helped European nations rebuild their economies after World War II. Germany particularly benefited from it.

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