No German decision on Afghanistan troops yet, says Westerwelle
Germany currently has around 4,300 troops in northern Afghanistan, the third largest contributor to a 100,000-strong international force.Berlin -- Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Wednesday that Germany would not take a decision about boosting its troop levels in Afghanistan until after an international conference in late January.
His remarks reiterated comments made Tuesday by Chancellor Angela Merkel, and came after US President Barack Obama's announcement that he would send 30,000 more US troops to the strife-wracked country.
"Before the conference on Afghanistan and the strategic discussions that will take place during that conference, a debate on troop levels and German participation is neither sensible nor appropriate," he told reporters. "It is about setting goals and strategy first and then seeing what instruments can be used to achieve them."
Germany currently has around 4,300 troops in northern Afghanistan, the third largest contributor to a 100,000-strong international force after the United States and Britain.
According to French officials, the United States has asked Germany to provide 2,000 more troops, France and Italy 1,500 each and Britain 1,000.
The United Nations-sponsored conference on Afghanistan is to take place on January 28 in London.