Merkel tries to quell row over German role in Africa
BERLIN Wed Jan 29, 2014
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is ready to send logistical support to Central African Republic but will not dispatch combat troops with a planned EU mission, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, trying to end a domestic row about Berlin’s role.
A split in Merkel’s grand coalition between conservative Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Social Democrat (SPD) Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier about Germany’s role in Africa has caused strains in the new government.
Merkel told the lower house of parliament the government was looking at whether to do more in Central African Republic.
“I say if necessary. It’s not about a German combat force, but about our capabilities in rescue and treating the wounded,” she said, adding Germany also wanted to strengthen its mandate in Mali to train security forces.
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