No German troops to south Afghanistan: Merkel

22nd November 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 November 2006, Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected Wednesday calls for German troops in Afghanistan to be moved to the south to fight the Taliban, telling the Bundestag parliament in Berlin that the army would continue with its responsibilities in the north. "I do not visualize any military commitment that goes beyond this mandate," she said. More time was needed for the development of Afghanistan than had been originally envisaged, the chancellor said. The solution could not be a pu

22 November 2006

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected Wednesday calls for German troops in Afghanistan to be moved to the south to fight the Taliban, telling the Bundestag parliament in Berlin that the army would continue with its responsibilities in the north.

"I do not visualize any military commitment that goes beyond this mandate," she said.

More time was needed for the development of Afghanistan than had been originally envisaged, the chancellor said.

The solution could not be a purely military one, and she would tell next week's NATO summit in Riga, Latvia that helping Afghanistan was also a political task. Security and reconstruction had to be linked, and Afghanistan's neighbours had to be more closely involved.

There have been calls from senior figures in Washington for German troops to assist US, Canadian, Dutch and other forces embroiled in bloody battles with the Islamist insurgents in the south of Afghanistan.

DPA

Subject: German news

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