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Berlin says Afghanistan talks a 'turning point'

AFP · 29 Jan 2010, 08:03

Published: 29 Jan 2010 08:03 GMT+01:00

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"From the German point of view the conference was a great success," he told journalists after the 70-nation talks on Thursday. "The fact that the Afghan government had set its own goals for its future development and received international backing for them was "important," he said, adding: "Perhaps it is the famous turning point."

Germany, which has 4,300 troops in Afghanistan and has pledged to send a further 500, welcomed the goal agreed by the London conference of passing over control of some provinces to local security forces by the end of the year.

Westerwelle said Berlin wanted to see "full control of responsibility for security handed over to the Afghan government in 2014. That means there is now the prospect of (international forces) pulling out," he said.

The foreign minister said he strongly supported the Afghan government's plan to persuade moderate Taliban to renounce violence in return for jobs and a place in mainstream society.

"Bridges must be built for those who take the weapons for a few hundred dollars," he said, underlining that many Taliban only fight for the insurgency because there is little other employment.

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Germany will provide €10 million ($14 million) towards the fund in its first year, out of a total $140 million dollars pledged at the conference.

It would also push Afghanistan to honour pledges to develop its democracy, while keeping an eye out for "fairer treatment of women," Westerwelle added.

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Your comments about this article

14:29 January 29, 2010 by Frenemy
"It would also push Afghanistan to honour pledges to develop its democracy, while keeping an eye out for "fairer treatment of women,"

Hahahaha, yeah right!!
18:06 February 1, 2010 by Major B
Well my man, it won't be democracy as we know it in the West. Yes, the women up in the hills and isolated places will be caged in, stuck in traditional environments but if enough of the Taliban can be eliminated and schools can take root, the smart girls will head off to Kabul and civilization as soon as they get a chance.
20:34 February 5, 2010 by Hibernicus
I was in London last week watching the shams going into Lancaster House. A shameless PR exercise by Brown and his NATO cronies. Polls show 71% of the British people are against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and want their troops brought home.

More interesting was the scene outside the Chilcott Inquiry on the Iraq War on the Friday, where war-criminal Blair was forced to defend his decision in backing Washington's War and give two fingers to British democracy. Over a thousand people gathered to harangue the trickster while he was giving his "evidence", mostly a rant about his decision being the right thing regardless of legality and the popular will and a despicable attempt to whip up war-hysteria for an attack on Iran.
14:53 February 7, 2010 by pkbw
Will you people leave Blair alone and get over it already!
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