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CSU and SPD ridicule Westerwelle

DDP/The Local · 2 Jan 2010, 14:37

Published: 02 Jan 2010 14:37 GMT+01:00

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Free Democratic Party leader Westerwelle raised some eye-brows last month when he apparently said he would boycott the London summit "if it's just going to be a troop-deployment conference." Since then he has clarified his statement, claiming he "never threatened to boycott the summit."

But speaking to news magazine Focus, he emphasised that the NATO meeting would not be successful if the only subject up for discussion was whether more troops should be committed.

Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel told news magazine Der Spiegel, "I think it's strange that Mr. Westerwelle decides to say nothing about Afghanistan or our strategy there for weeks on end, only to jump out and say he's not going to the London conference."

"Instead of this kind of erratic foreign policy, he should make clear what his aim for the conference is," Gabriel added. Apparently trying to stoke an internal feud in the government, he also accused Westerwelle of allowing Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to define Germany's Afghanistan strategy. "We don't want a militarisation of foreign policy," Gabriel added.

He called on Westerwelle to present his aims for London in the German parliament, the Bundestag. "Then he might be able to go to London with a parliamentary consensus," the opposition leader said.

Guttenberg's party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had similar ridicule for the foreign minister.

"If Westerwelle doesn't want to go London, then Guttenberg will just have to negotiate for Germany on his own," CSU General Secretary Alexander Dobrindt told Der Spiegel.

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Even Westerwelle's government ally the CDU did not spare him. "I can't imagine that the German foreign minister will boycott the Afghanistan conference, since Germany and France have particular interest in its success," said CDU foreign policy spokesman Philipp Mißfelder.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:02 January 2, 2010 by Frenemy
...what a douche!! (just look at him)
18:30 January 2, 2010 by Henckel
@ Frenemy: What do you expect from somebody like him? Besides his personal proclivities, he has an insufferable smile that he flashes at all time, no matter how inappropriately.
19:00 January 2, 2010 by Steviegee
The bloke is a prize prat, like most of the other gormless Politian¦#39;s that live on planet zonk! Lets just hope and pray that there is never a major terrorist incident in Germany.
03:26 January 3, 2010 by CalBill
Perhaps Herr Westerwelle should go directly to Afghanistan and present a peace lotus to the Taliban. That should be effective. Whadda wimp.
09:58 January 3, 2010 by Dizz
Germany's global foreign policy stance and her international standing is fairly irrelevant in the eyes of the world. Perhaps as consequential as that of the Dominican Republic or Congo. Even the Maldives is taken more seriously. Jumping on the Bush bandwagon was an attempt to change that but the inexperience and utter lack of comprehension shows.

But clearly there is a lack of commitment or perhaps its also pretty irrelevant to the Germans themselves if this clown was the best they could find for the job.
15:19 January 3, 2010 by Frenemy

"Germany's global foreign policy stance and her international standing is fairly irrelevant in the eyes of the world."

Which world are you living in???
18:35 January 3, 2010 by wenddiver
Perhaps it would be better to leave him at home or better yet commit him to hospital for the Pride and Dignity of the German Nation. There will be more than enough pin heads to be ignored at the conference any way (France will be there). In fact tell the German tax payers your doing cost savings and cancelling all the travel for such morons .
21:24 January 3, 2010 by ECSNatale
Maybe he doesn't want to go because they speak English in London and we all know how he feels about that.
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