German court backs Tornado deployment

3rd July 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 July 2007, Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Germany's top court Tuesday dismissed a move to end the deployment of six surveillance aircraft sent to Afghanistan to help NATO forces fighting the Taliban. The Federal Constitutional Court rejected a complaint by the opposition Left Party, which argued that parliament's decision to allow the mission was inconsistent with a 1955 law governing the country's role in NATO. The court ruled that the legislature did not exceed its authority because the NATO-led mission in

3 July 2007

Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Germany's top court Tuesday dismissed a move to end the deployment of six surveillance aircraft sent to Afghanistan to help NATO forces fighting the Taliban.

The Federal Constitutional Court rejected a complaint by the opposition Left Party, which argued that parliament's decision to allow the mission was inconsistent with a 1955 law governing the country's role in NATO.

The court ruled that the legislature did not exceed its authority because the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan "serves the security of the Euro-Atlantic area" and does not violate the alliance's defensive mandate.

German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung welcomed the ruling, saying it sent "an important signal to our soldiers in their vital contribution to peace and stability in Afghanistan."

The German parliament, or Bundestag, voted in March to send six Tornado reconnaissance jets to Afghanistan on a six-month mission, but specifically precluded German participation in combat.

The planes, based at Camp Marmal near Mazar-e Sharif in the north of Afghanistan, flew their first operational mission on April 15.

The Left Party, comprised of former East German communists and disaffected Social Democrats, feared the deployment could lead to German soldiers becoming involved in the increasingly heavy fighting in southern Afghanistan.

Many Germans had also expressed reservations about the mission, believing it could trigger terrorist attacks in Germany.

Germany currently has around 3,000 troops stationed with the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Most of them are confined to the relatively peaceful north where they form part of Provincial Reconstruction Teams building up infrastructure, schools and other institutions.

DPA

Subject German news

0 Comments To This Article