Schroeder plans Afghan visit despite security fears

1st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 October 2004 , BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder plans to go ahead with a visit to Afghanistan later this month despite security concerns raised by top aides, a government spokesman said Friday. "We assume the Chancellor will travel to Kabul on 11 October," said Schroeder's deputy spokesman Thomas Steg. Steg said the German leader was "firmly determined" to visit Afghanistan for talks with President Hamid Karzai as part of an Asia trip with stops in India, Pakistan and Vietnam. On Thursday, a

1 October 2004

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder plans to go ahead with a visit to Afghanistan later this month despite security concerns raised by top aides, a government spokesman said Friday.

"We assume the Chancellor will travel to Kabul on 11 October," said Schroeder's deputy spokesman Thomas Steg.

Steg said the German leader was "firmly determined" to visit Afghanistan for talks with President Hamid Karzai as part of an Asia trip with stops in India, Pakistan and Vietnam.

On Thursday, a senior German official said Schroeder might be forced to cancel the Kabul visit due to fears over his safety after six soldiers were injured in an attack on a German military post in the country.

"Under certain conditions the trip could have to be cancelled," said an official speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The official said Schroeder was not due to fly into the Afghan capital using his regular Airbus jet but rather in a German air force transport plane.

"We will be in close contact with our intelligence services on the situation there," said the official.

Germany has over 2,000 soldiers in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan as part of NATO's 7,000-member International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) created by the United Nations in 2001 after the overthrow of the Taliban by a United States-led coalition.

DPA

Subject: German news

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