Federal government: Defense Minister Pistorius in office

The new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) is in office.

Federal government: Defense Minister Pistorius in office

The new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) is in office. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented him with the certificate of appointment in Berlin that morning. The resigned Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) received her dismissal certificate. The former interior minister of the state of Lower Saxony then took the oath of office in the Bundestag - without the formula "so help me God". Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also took part in the brief appointment ceremony at Bellevue Palace.

Steinmeier wished Pistorius "perseverance, good luck and a lucky hand". Pistorius is taking over the ministerial office in a situation of threat and danger that Germany has not known for a long time. He has to start right away. "For all the upcoming challenges and necessary reforms, you now need a cool head, good nerves, strong leadership, clear language and political experience." Steinmeier said he had shown that Pistorius had all of that in other demanding political offices.

"Have to respond to threats that are also aimed at us"

"Germany is not at war," stressed the Federal President. For the country, however, an epoch in a headwind is beginning. "We must respond to threats that are also aimed at us." In this environment of new threats and geopolitical changes, it is now crucial to make the Bundeswehr capable of deterrence and ready to defend itself. "And that requires more modern and comprehensive equipment, more efficient procurement, more solid staffing levels, and attention and respect for the troops."

Steinmeier emphasized that there was no time to lose. "As a strong country in the middle of Europe, we have a responsibility not only for ourselves but also for others." Germany does not stand alone, but in alliance with partners. "And these partners must and will be able to rely on us."

Steinmeier thanked Lambrecht, who had resigned, for everything she had done in 23 years as a member of parliament and for everything she had done as federal minister in various positions. He also thanked her "for the willingness to stand up for our country and our democracy for so many years, to defend it where it is attacked, not only to lament its problems but also to want to solve them".

Reception with military honors

Pistorius wanted to drive from the swearing-in ceremony in the Bundestag to the Bendlerblock, the seat of the Defense Ministry. Inspector General of the German Armed Forces, Eberhard Zorn, wanted to receive him there with military honours. Shortly thereafter, a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was on his schedule.

The war in Ukraine and continued support for the country attacked by Russia are likely to be central themes. In the past few days, pressure has increased on Germany to also make Leopard-type main battle tanks available to Ukraine. According to media reports, Chancellor Scholz is now ready to do so under certain conditions. According to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" and "Bild" newspapers, in a telephone call to US President Joe Biden, he made it clear that Germany could only deliver if the US in turn provided Ukraine with its own Abrams main battle tanks.

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