Germany extends mandate for anti-terror troops

10th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 November 2006, Berlin (dpa) - The German parliament on Friday voted to extend the mandate of about 300 troops serving in the United States-led anti-terror mission "Operation Enduring Freedom." The Bundestag, parliament's lower chamber, reduced the number of troops which can potentially be deployed to 1,800 from the present 2,800. At present 300 German naval troops are stationed in the Horn of Africa under the mandate. Opposition to the mission, however, is growing. There were 101 "no" votes in the chamb

10 November 2006

Berlin (dpa) - The German parliament on Friday voted to extend the mandate of about 300 troops serving in the United States-led anti-terror mission "Operation Enduring Freedom."

The Bundestag, parliament's lower chamber, reduced the number of troops which can potentially be deployed to 1,800 from the present 2,800.

At present 300 German naval troops are stationed in the Horn of Africa under the mandate.

Opposition to the mission, however, is growing. There were 101 "no" votes in the chamber and 26 members abstained. The one-year extension of the German troop deployment was backed by 436 deputies.

Parliament last month extended the deployment about 2,800 German soldiers in Afghanistan serving in the 31,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

In a related development, the German Defence Ministry confirmed Friday that members of Germany's elite Kommando Spezialkraefte (KFK) are operating in Afghanistan under ISAF command.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a speech at a security congress, said German forces would remain stationed in northern Afghanistan.

Berlin has come under pressure from other NATO members with troops fighting Taliban forces in volatile southern Afghanistan to allow its forces to deploy in the south. Forces from the US, Britain and Canada are active in the south.

"We know about our responsibility for common solidarity," said Merkel, adding: "In emergency situations we will in the future do what is possible under the (parliamentary) mandate."

Parliament has largely restricted German troops to northern Afghanistan and Kabul.

DPA

Subject: German news

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