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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.
By Mammen Mathew | PTI, Berlin
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2010 05:51 PM IST

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."

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