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President urges Germany to take more military responsibility

Published on Jun 14, 2014 9:19 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.

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