July 16, 2019 / 6:11 PM / 3 months ago

Germany's Merkel hails her ally's move to Brussels

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to attend a joint news conference with Moldova's Prime Minister Maia Sandu at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated her long-standing ally Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday on being confirmed as European Commission president, hailing the current German defense minister as a committed European.

“I’m glad because a persuasive and committed European will become president of the European Commission,” she said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Even as I lose a long-serving minister, I gain a new partner in Brussels.”

Von der Leyen, the first woman in the post, is the first German to head the European Union’s executive in over half a century.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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