Germany for early exit from Afghanistan
Germany, which is a major contributor to the NATO force in Afghanistan, wants the forthcoming crucial conference in London to focus on early exit startegy from the country.
"A NATO nation wants the Conference on Afghanistan to focus on troop deployment. But we want a clear perspective for the troop withdrawal," the German defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has said.
He said Berlin wants the conference to work out an exit strategy for the NATO forces. With nearly 4,500 troops deployed Germany is a major contributor to these forces.
Germany has been under pressure from the United States and other NATO partners to send extra forces to Afghanistan after President Barack Obama announced last month his decision to send 30,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan and called upon the NATO partners to make their contributions.
Germany has been very reluctant to reinforce its military presence in Afghanistan from the present level of 4,500 troops and argued that it would wait for the London conference on January 28 to take a final decision.
Guttenberg said that the German government wanted the London conference to work out an exit strategy for the NATO forces in Afghanistan instead of focusing on reinforcing them.
"No country wants the Afghanistan conference to become a conference on troop deployment," Guttenberg told a meeting of his Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria. "We want a clear perspective for the troop withdrawal."
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- In Italy, unidentified persons painted the slogan “Khalistan Zindabad” on the facade of the Indian embassy in Rome and put up several pro-Khalistan flags and banners at the gate ahead of Republic Day.
- "Last time, we had preparations for 700 to 1,000 but finally more than 1,800 Rohingya moved there. People who moved earlier are calling their relatives and friends to go there. That's why more people are going there." Navy Commodore Abdullah Al Mamun Chowdhury told Reuters.
- The variant, identified in southeast England in December, is thought to be more transmissible, and could also be associated with higher mortality, though data suggesting increased death rates are uncertain and not yet strong.
- "We know China is working across the UN system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the founding values of the institution - American values," veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield will say, when she appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.