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Germany to appoint regional official as defense minister

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will appoint a regional official as the new defense minister following the resignation of the much-criticized Christine Lambrecht, the dpa news agency reported Tuesday.

The defense minister-designate, Boris Pistorius, is a member of Scholz’ Social Democrats, and has been serving as interior minister of Lower Saxony since 2013.

The 62-year-old Pistorius will have to steer the project of modernizing Germany’s military and oversee expanding weapons deliveries to Ukraine.

Pistorius will also quickly be thrown into the deep end of the new job. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is scheduled to visit Berlin this week and then host a meeting of allies at the Ramstein Air Base in western Germany. On Sunday, the German and French governments will hold bilateral talks that include a meeting of the countries’ joint security council.

Lambrecht had been defense minister since Scholz became chancellor in December 2021. Critics had long portrayed her as out of her depth.

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