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Gay Foreign Minister Starts Work in Germany


Guido Westerwelle will take office as the first openly gay foreign minister in Germany this week, while some citizens question his inexperience and diplomatic temperament.

Westerwelle, the leader of the pro-business, liberal Free Democrat party, formed a governing coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservative Christian Democrats after last month's elections.

The appointment of Westerwelle to the foreign minister's post stirred controversy in Germany, according to The Independent.

"The 47-year-old has limited experience in foreign affairs and claimed before the election that he would like to be agriculture minister because that was an area he understood," reported The Independent.

His diplomatic skills also raise questions.

"Neither is he renowned for diplomatic tact," said The Independent. "He was lampooned last month after he refused to answer a question from a BBC reporter in English. 'We are in Germany,' Mr Westerwelle snapped. 'We speak German here.'"

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