Germany 'wants closer ties' with US Congress

8th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2006, Berlin (dpa) - The German government wants to expand ties with the United States Congress following the victory of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, an official said Wednesday. "More than in the past we will have to make efforts aimed at the newly elected members of Congress and toward Congress as a whole," said Karsten Voigt, the government's coordinator for German-American relations in a Bayerischer Rundfunk radio interview. Voigt said the US elections would lead to m

8 November 2006

Berlin (dpa) - The German government wants to expand ties with the United States Congress following the victory of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, an official said Wednesday.

"More than in the past we will have to make efforts aimed at the newly elected members of Congress and toward Congress as a whole," said Karsten Voigt, the government's coordinator for German-American relations in a Bayerischer Rundfunk radio interview.

Voigt said the US elections would lead to more pressure from Washington on Europe to bolster its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said that while there were unlikely to be calls for German troops to go to Iraq - something the Berlin government has ruled out - pressure would grow on German forces to take a greater combat role in Afghanistan.

German troops are currently stationed in more peaceful northern Afghanistan and Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out sending combat forces to aid NATO allies battling Taliban forces in the southern part of the country.

"I see no (parliamentary majority) under present conditions for changing the German mandate to include stationing combat troops in the area of operations in the south," said Voigt.

Germany has about 2,800 troops serving with the 31,000-member NATO-led force in Afghanistan.

DPA

Subject: German news

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