Berlin to supply Iraqi forces witharmoured personnel carriers

29th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

29 September 2004 , BERLIN - Germany is to provide armoured personnel carriers to the Iraqi military and train Iraqi soldiers in the United Arab Emirates, a government spokesman said. Twenty Fuchs unarmed transport vehicles will be delivered initially to the United Arab Emirates where Germany will train Iraqi soldiers, spokesman Bela Anda said. It follows talks between the German government and the Iraqi interim government. Defence Minister Peter Struck said the German government was implementing an agreem

29 September 2004

BERLIN - Germany is to provide armoured personnel carriers to the Iraqi military and train Iraqi soldiers in the United Arab Emirates, a government spokesman said.

Twenty Fuchs unarmed transport vehicles will be delivered initially to the United Arab Emirates where Germany will train Iraqi soldiers, spokesman Bela Anda said.

It follows talks between the German government and the Iraqi interim government.

Defence Minister Peter Struck said the German government was implementing an agreement by NATO governments last week on expanding the Alliance's security forces' training mission in Iraq.

The opposition centre right Christian Democrats (CDU) backed the government's decision, but there was opposition from the CDU's sister party in Bavaria, the CSU, as well as peace organizations.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was a leading European opponent of the Iraq war and has consistently pledged not to send soldiers to Iraq.

Anda said the UAE would provide the training infrastructure, supplies and accommodation for the German and Iraqi forces.

Germany is also examining requests from the Iraqi interim government to provide training in road and bridge building and bomb disposal.

Berlin has so far agreed to supply 100 Bundeswehr trucks and train Iraqi police and soldiers outside of Iraq.

Spiegel Online reported that the Federal Security Council - a cabinet committee whose meetings are confidential - approved the Fuchs delivery last week. The UAE is bearing the costs of the delivery, it is reported.

In 2002, the German government rejected a request from Israel for the Fuchs armoured transporter ahead of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq after concerns it could be used in operations in the Palestinian territories.

CDU foreign affairs expert Friedbert Pflueger told Wednesday's edition of Die Welt newspaper that Berlin was doing all it could to help stabilize Iraq. He said the government should now consider supplying Israel with the Fuchs carriers.

But CSU defence expert Christian Schmidt told the Muenchner Merk daily to appear Wednesday that Germany was probably responding to strong outside pressure.

"And know that one doesn't always make the right decision under pressure," he said.

The Bonn-based Peace Cooperative network accused Germany of "needlessly getting mixed up in the Iraq disaster". NATO was sliding into the status of a combatant in the conflict, it said.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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