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German defence minister sacks aides after procurement gaffes

Published on Feb 20, 2014 9:40 PM

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Germany's defence minister has sacked her secretary of state and another official responsible for defence procurement - part of her pledge for a shake up after high-profile projects were hit by spiralling costs, technical hitches and chronic delays.

Ms Ursula von der Leyen, a conservative tipped as a potential successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, took over the ministry - one of the top jobs in the German cabinet - last December.

Berlin is seeking to play a more engaged role in global foreign and security policy under Ms von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"My experience of the last weeks is that we need a new start with new personnel, so that all in this ministry can feel the change," she told reporters on Thursday.

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