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Berlin critical of Afghan leaders, report says

The Local · 11 Dec 2010, 13:40

Published: 11 Dec 2010 13:40 GMT+01:00

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"Progress in the area of good government leadership is still small," the report read, according to German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The assessment is the first comprehensive progress report to be released by the German government on the situation in Afghanistan. Parliamentarians demanded the review ahead of a coming vote on extending the military mandate, a decision that is expected to take place in January.

On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is set to issue a government statement that makes the case for an extension of the Bundeswehr's Afghanistan mission.

The approximately 100-page report references ongoing corruption in Afghanistan, as well as an appeal to the government there to fulfil its responsibilities.

It addresses 27 different subject areas and was produced under the direction of the foreign ministry, with contributions from the Chancellery and the defence, justice and development ministries.

Westerwelle reportedly called for a "blunt and honest survey" of the situation, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said.

The newspaper cited government sources, who said the report maintains that the conflict in Afghanistan cannot be won by military means – necessitating talks with members of the insurgency. Yet the assessment also references certain non-negotiable issues, among them women's rights.

Though Afghanistan is still one of the poorest countries in the world, the document points to economic development and improvements in exports, coal production and per capita income.

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Some 100 officials helped prepare the report, including staff in Kabul and members of reconstruction teams in Afghanistan.

As of Friday, the final version of the document was still being prepared, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:50 December 11, 2010 by raandy
President Hamid Karzai's administration,friends and family are to busy hiding all that money in secret places and rigging elections ,having secret talks with the Taliban instead of providing good and honest leadership,that would weaken the insurgency and make the mission of the Nato troops worthwhile. As long as he or another corrupt leader is empowered by the Nato forces ,there will never be a success story there.
02:17 December 13, 2010 by wood artist
When I first read this headline I assumed it was another document released through Wikileaks. In the next breath, I was thinking it's no big deal, primarily because the fact that Nato countries are all "disappointed" in the government headed by Karzai. It's no secret.

Okay, so it's not a leaked document, but the fact remains that Afghanistan in a mess, and nothing we or Nato does is going to change that until there is something resembling an honest government in place. Perhaps the problem is a lack of tradition of honesty, and we're trying to create something completely foreign to the Afghan culture.

The real problem, I suspect, is that the people simply don't know anything different. The Taliban were oppressive, but I doubt much more honest. It's always operated with bribes and back-room deals, so nothing's changed except maybe the faces and names.

I agree with Karzai that some "deal" needs to be made with the Taliban or they'll just continue making things a mess. On the other hand, he'd sell anything if he can make a buck.

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