Syria push: Friedrich Merz praises Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer

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Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has irritated her cabinet colleague Heiko Maas with her Syria attack, but she receives the support of a prominent party colleague. CDU politician Friedrich Merz told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” that the defense minister's proposal for an international protection zone in northern Syria is an important signal “that we are prepared to assume responsibility for foreign and security policy”.

Germany had shied away from taking the initiative for far too long, Merz said. Of course, one has to wait and see how the idea will be concretely shaped – but it is “good that a proposal now comes to the table and that the Ministry of Defense takes care of the matter”.

Merz: EU must act together in security policy

Merz also considers it to be a “strong signal” if the EU states “continue to co-exist in security policy after the Brexit with Great Britain”. The EU was “completely absorbed by the dispute over Brexit for years,” said former Atlantic Bridge Chairman and rival Kramp-Karrenbauer's CDU presidency. As a result, important future questions have taken a back seat.

The Minister of Defense proposes an “internationally controlled security zone” in Syria, including Turkey and Russia. For the proposal, the CDU boss had to take a lot of criticism – he was not voted with the SPD and with partner countries. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) said that the initiative triggered “some irritation among our partners”.

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