German defense minister tenders resignation

BERLIN – German Federal Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen has announced her resignation as she prepares her future role in European Commission, according to a note presented to the German armed forces by her on Monday.

“The Chancellor has been informed of this step and she will take the necessary measures to secure a responsible transfer of Bundeswehr and national security,” the note stated seen by DPA.

Von der Leyen said she will formally leave her office on Wednesday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed the news while paying a visit in Germany’s eastern city of Goerlitz.

Merkel paid her respect, saying von der Leyen has chosen a “new stage” and she is fully committed to be the president of the European Commission.

Von der Leyen was proposed earlier this month to head the European Commission, replacing the current president Jean-Claude Juncker for the next five years.

The European Parliament will vote on the nomination on Tuesday. The German centre-right candidate needs at least 374 out of 747 votes to get into the office in Brussels.

Who will succeed the post of Germany’s defense minister remain initially unclear.

DPA listed several politicians in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), like Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, defense experts Johann Wadephul and Henning Otte, or former CDU General Secretary and Defense Secretary Peter Tauber, as potential successors.

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