German President Horst Koehler has stepped down following controversial remarks about Germany’s military operations abroad.
On returning from a visit to Afghanistan, Koehler appeared to suggest that military action abroad could be justified to defend economic interests.
Such a policy would be in breach of Germany’s constitution, although Koehler said his comments were misinterpreted.
Koehler’s shock resignation comes just one year into his second term.
The Germany presidency is a largely ceremonial role.