Berlin denies US arrested German colonel
7 June 2004BERLIN - The German Defence Ministry rejected Monday a television news story claiming that US forces clapped the German commandant of Kabul International Airport in handcuffs for making an American plane wait.
7 June 2004
BERLIN - The German Defence Ministry rejected Monday a television news story claiming that US forces clapped the German commandant of Kabul International Airport in handcuffs for making an American plane wait.
A defence spokesman in Berlin said the account was untrue, and the German officer concerned denied that he had refused the US plane landing permission or that he had been arrested. ARD television said he was a colonel in the German air force, the Luftwaffe.
The South Asia bureau of ARD had claimed the German was arrested by US forces in April, not long after the 21 April departure of German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer from a visit to Kabul.
The officer was alleged to have refused a demand for immediate landing permission for a US plane. German forces, who had been in charge of all airport operations for two and a half years, handed over the facility 1 June to NATO command.
The officer concerned had returned to Germany early this month, the ministry said.
The allies in Kabul work for two institutions with roles that sometimes contradict: the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) keeps the peace and strengthens Afghan institutions, whereas the coalition forces are there to fight the Taliban.
Most of the US soldiers are part of the coalition forces, whereas most of the European troops are part of ISAF, which is currently commanded by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Subject: German news