Home > News > World
Saturday June 14, 2014 MYT 10:05:02 PM
Saturday June 14, 2014 MYT 10:06:22 PM
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany should play a more active military role abroad, its President Joachim Gauck said in an interview published on Saturday, urging it to drop its post-war reluctance.
Seven decades after the end of World War Two, Germany's Nazi past means it remains hesitant to send troops abroad even on peace keeping missions.
Europe's largest and the world's fourth biggest economy has faced criticism from allies for not taking a more active role. Gauck said he had repeatedly heard such pleas during his travels.
"That's what I want from Germany, too" Gauck said in an interview with Deutschlandradio Kultur after a trip to Norway.
"I have the feeling our country should maybe drop the reluctance that was in order in past decades in favour of a stronger sense of responsibility."
The president's position is largely ceremonial but serves as a moral authority in Germany.
A former pastor from East Germany, Gauck caused a stir earlier this year by saying Germany must stop standing on the sidelines and act more quickly, decisively and substantially in foreign crises.
"Sometimes it is necessary to take up arms in order to fight for human rights or for the survival of innocent people," Gauck said.
In 2010, remarks by a previous president, Horst Koehler, justifying military action to back Germany's commercial interests sparked criticism that prompted him to step down.
Gauck, who took office in 2012, said taking a stronger international role did not imply being dominant. "I don't mean the behaviour that Germany put on in past centuries or in the decade of the war: a demeanour of German dominance. The opposite is what I mean," Gauck said.
"A 'yes' to an active participation in conflict resolution in a bigger framework, together with those who work with us in the European Union and in NATO."
(Reporting by Annika Breidthardt, editing by William Hardy)
Germany promises more engagement - but not on the battlefield
EU blames Assad for attack, urges wait for U.N. report
More engaged Germany preparing to send troops to Somalia
U.S., Germany urge Russia not to hurt Syria peace effort
Italian president says Germany must give EU recovery a boost
Arrest made in Warsaw related to Hoeness case - Munich prosecutors
Russian prosecutors detain more suspects in Total CEO plane crash
China vows better rule of law, but no word of disgraced security chief
Special Report - Why Ukraine's revolution remains unfinished
Exclusive - Charred tanks in Ukraine point to Russian involvement
At U.N., China asked to back human rights case against North Korea
Top Paris chef named 'cook of the year'
Kvitova ends three-year losing streak against Sharapova
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)