July 16, 2019 / 12:20 PM / 7 months ago

Merkel says new German defence minister will quickly succeed von der Leyen

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu shake hands after a joint news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a new defence minister would be found quickly after Ursula von der Leyen announced she would resign regardless of the outcome of the European Parliament’s Tuesday vote to decide on her appointment as European Commission head.

“The defence ministers are the commanders-in-chief of the armed forces - you can’t leave that position vacant for long,” Merkel told a joint news conference on Tuesday with the visiting Moldovan prime minister.

“So it won’t take long and you’ll get to know about it,” she added.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Paul Carrel

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