Berlin says it has no plan to boost troops in Afghanistan
www.chinaview.cn 2008-02-12 03:23:19   Print

    BERLIN, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The German government on Monday denied news reports that it is considering to increase its troop levels in Afghanistan.

    "There is no such consideration at this time," said Defense Ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe at a press conference.

    Any expansion of the mission in Afghanistan will be within the current limit of 3,500 soldiers, he added.

    The German news agency DPA reported on Saturday that Berlin plans to seek the go-ahead from the German parliament to increase the number of German soldiers in Afghanistan by 1,000 to 4,500.

    Some 3,500 German troops, the third biggest contributor after the United States and Britain, are currently deployed in the relatively peaceful northern Afghanistan under the 43,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

    The current mandate of the German troops is due to expire in October. German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said on Monday it is too early to discuss any changes that an extension of the mandate might involve.

    At the annual security meeting in the southern German city of Munich, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused some NATO allies of failing to share burdens in addressing global threats, especially in Afghanistan.

    Without mentioning Germany's name, Gates said some nations are "forcing other allies to bear disproportionate share of the fighting and the dying."

    NATO has reportedly been struggling to plug holes in the military missions in Afghanistan, where a potential resurgence of terrorism has raised grave concern.

Editor: Yan Liang
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