German court rejects bid to stop Tornados

30th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

30 March 2007, Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Germany's top court Friday cleared the way for Germany to send six Tornado surveillance aircraft to help NATO forces fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. The Federal Constitutional Court refused to grant a request from the Left Party for an injunction stopping the deployment. The court said it would hear formal arguments on April 18, by which time the German armed forces are expected to have completed the deployment of the warplanes. The German parliament

30 March 2007

Karlsruhe, Germany (dpa) - Germany's top court Friday cleared the way for Germany to send six Tornado surveillance aircraft to help NATO forces fighting the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

The Federal Constitutional Court refused to grant a request from the Left Party for an injunction stopping the deployment.

The court said it would hear formal arguments on April 18, by which time the German armed forces are expected to have completed the deployment of the warplanes.

The German parliament earlier this month voted to send the reconnaissance jets to Afghanistan but the mandate explicitly precludes German participation in combat missions.

The opposition Left Party fears that German soldiers will be involved in the increasingly heavy fighting in southern Afghanistan.

Because the Tornados will be relaying coordinates for potential bombing targets, deputies are worried that Germany could become a party to attacks that result in civilian deaths.

The Left Party claims parliament acted inappropriately in authorizing the deployment, arguing that it was the result of a creeping transformation of NATO from a defence alliance into "an offensive alliance for global intervention."

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

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