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Germany’s foreign minister says she doesn’t plan to run for chancellor in the next election

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BERLIN (AP) — German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in remarks aired on Wednesday that she doesn’t plan another run to try and get the post of Germany’s leader in the next national election. She said she wants to concentrate on diplomacy in a time of multiple crises.

Baerbock made her environmentalist Green party’s first-ever run for Germany’s top job in the 2021 national election. The party finished third behind current Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats and the center-right Union bloc, and Baerbock became foreign minister in Scholz’s coalition government.

The next national election is expected in the fall of 2025. In an interview with CNN from the NATO summit in Washington broadcast on Wednesday, Baerbock was asked if she considers running for the top job.

“Obviously, the world is a totally different one than at the last German national elections,” she replied, citing Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war and the need for “more diplomacy and not less.”

“In these times of crisis,” she said she believes her “political responsibility” entails “not being tied up in a candidacy for (the) German chancellorship.” She said she would “continue to use all my energy as foreign minister” to build trust and cooperation, “because so many partners around the world and in Europe count on that.”

There has long been speculation about whether Baerbock would seek to run for chancellor again in the next election. Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who co-led the Greens with Baerbock when they were in opposition and stepped aside for her to run in 2021, also is widely believed to be keen to run.

Baerbock said that “obviously, in election times, I will do everything to support my own party, like I did in the past.”

It remains to be seen how realistic another Green bid for the chancellery would be. Scholz’s quarrelsome three-party coalition has become very unpopular and the Greens’ own popularity has declined.

In the European Parliament election last month, which was won by the center-right Union with the far-right Alternative for Germany finishing second, the Green party came fourth with 11.9% of the vote.