The CDU vice-chairman and North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet has criticized the initiative of German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer for an international protection zone in northern Syria. The Augsburger Allgemeine told Laschet, "What does she mean, does she mean a UN blue helmet mission, does she want a combat mission?" Many questions are open. "
"I think it's easier to vote in a coalition," he said. Asked whether it had been a mistake of his party leader not to better integrate the partner SPD, added Laschet: "It has not made it any easier." A deployment of the Bundeswehr would have to be approved in the Bundestag by SPD MPs. So far, Kramp-Karrenbauer lacks the support of the coalition partner.
Even Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) did not back the proposal and pushes for a permanent ceasefire in the conflict. He travels to Ankara for a talk with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu. A meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who recently described Maas as a "political dilettante", is not planned.
Germany "internationally active"
Laschet also contradicted the basic foreign policy assessment of the CDU chair that Germany takes on too little responsibility in the world. It is not at all so that Germany ducks away. "Germany has been involved with many thousands of soldiers in stabilizing Afghanistan for years," Laschet said. "Germany is represented in Mali and off the coast of Somalia, we are internationally active."
Laschet is considered the head of the largest CDU state association as a potential competitor of Kramp-Karrenbauer for the chancellor candidate. The prime minister had already made several front against the party chairman. After the anti-CDU video of the Youtubers Rezo Laschet had in May in the debate on "opinion" on the Internet at a distance gone to her. In September he called it a "truism" that the chancellor candidate was open.
Clear support in NATO is missing
Kramp-Karrenbauer had asked about a week ago at the CSU party conference, when Germany or the Union on international issues had made a major suggestion last. "I can not hear anymore that we are worried, that we are looking with great concern, that we are looking, we are strong, it depends on us, and eventually we have to give our own political answers - especially as Union."
So far, none of the NATO partners has clearly supported the Defense Minister's initiative. It is welcomed, however, that within NATO there is even a proposal for conduct in northern Syria. There, about two weeks ago, Turkey invaded to oust the Kurdish militia YPG, which is regarded by the Turkish government as a terrorist organization.