Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev amid Russian aid convoy ‘escalation’

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Philippines to repatriate UN troops in Liberia over Ebola fears

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Asia-pacific

NATO chief confident of support despite France, Germany refusals

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-02

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he is confident members of the transatlantic alliance will make a "substantial" increase in their commitments to the war in Afghanistan, despite French and German refusals to send more soldiers.

AFP - The NATO chief said Wednesday he was confident Washington's allies would step up and boost their role in Afghanistan, despite France and Germany already refusing to pledge extra troops for the war.

US President Barack Obama announced he was pouring 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, vowing to "seize the initiative" to end the eight-year conflict and start a pullout in July 2011 in a move welcomed by his allies.

He also cranked up pressure on NATO members for more troops, saying they were also threatened by Afghan-based terrorism.

His war commander General Stanley McChrystal hailed the new strategy, saying it had provided him "with a clear military mission and the resources to accomplish our task."

"The clarity, commitment and resolve outlined in the president’s address are critical steps toward bringing security to Afghanistan and eliminating terrorist safe havens that threaten regional and global security," he said.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was confident members of the transatlantic alliance would make a "substantial" increase in their commitments.

"As the US increases its commitment, I am confident that the other allies, as well as our partners in the mission, will also make a substantial increase in their contribution," he said in comments posted on NATO's website.

NATO foreign ministers will be meeting in Brussels on Friday to discuss Afghanistan, where more than 40 countries have troops.

Britain has already offered an extra 500 and Prime Minister Gordon Brown said they would be accompanied by new forces from at least eight other NATO allies, as well as the United States.

Italy has said it will send an unspecified number, while Poland is considering deploying several hundred more soldiers.

But both France and Germany indicated they will not immediately deploy extra combat troops.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he "provides his full support" for Obama's strategy and called "on all countries which want to help the Afghan people to support it," but said France would wait until an international conference on Afghanistan on January 28 to review its troop contribution.

Sarkozy said France expects to hear at the conference clear commitments from Afghan leaders on a range of issues including taking over responsibility for security, which will allow the international community to review its efforts.

"It is within this renewed context that France will examine its contribution to the international strategy," he said in a statement.

Le Monde reported that Obama was seeking 1,500 extra French troops on top of the 3,400 already there.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country would also wait until after the London conference.

"After this conference on Afghanistan, Germany will decide whether or not it will make fresh efforts, and if so, what efforts," Merkel said, adding that security in Afghanistan would not be solved by military means alone.

Germany has around 4,300 troops in northern Afghanistan, the third largest contributor to a 100,000-strong international force after the United States and Britain, whose extra 500 troops will take it past 10,000.

Brown set three conditions for Britain sending extra troops to Afghanistan.

These were that the Afghan government show a commitment to providing police and soldiers who can be trained to engage in combat; that British troops are properly equipped and that other NATO countries also boost force levels.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said after a telephone call from Obama that his country could beef up its contingent of 2,000 troops by several hundred.

"According to President Obama, a bigger engagement (now) could allow for starting to withdraw the forces in 18 to 24 months from now at the latest," Tusk said Tuesday.

He added that no decision has been made yet but he has asked Poland's defence minister to prepare a report on how many soldiers would be needed to make the Polish contingent more effective.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pledged Monday to send more police trainers and civilian aid experts, saying his country was in it "for the long haul."

But Rudd, who met Obama in Washington this week, did not offer more troops beyond the 1,550 that Australia has already committed.

His Defence Minister John Faulkner said he hoped the increase in US troops would make a "significant difference" on the ground, while reiterating: "We're not planning to send additional troops to Afghanistan".
 

Date created : 2009-12-02

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Obama commits 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, outlines withdrawal plan

    Read more

COMMENT(S)