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Military

Cost of German military, civilian mission in Afghanistan reaches 2.45b euros

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Sept 26, IRNA
Germany-Afghanistan-Military
The German military mission in Afghanistan has so far cost 1.9 billion euros, the German parliament cited the government as saying Wednesday.

In addition, the German government has spent 550 million euros since 2002 for the civilian reconstruction of war-ravaged Afghanistan, the government announced following an inquiry by the Green (Gruene) party fraction.

Berlin has also pledged an additional 400 million euros until 2010 for the rebuilding process of Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, Germany had been the scene of nationwide demonstrations, calling for the withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan ahead of a key parliamentary vote on extending the Afghan military mandate.

Some 3,000 soldiers are also presently based in northern Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

Germany has faced intense pressure in recent months from its Nato allies, notably the US, Britain and Canada, to widen its military presence into southern Afghanistan where NATO troops are battling a revitalized Taliban insurgency.

The recent spate of kidnappings of German nationals in Afghanistan has also negatively influenced public opinion about the futility of the western military campaign in Afghanistan.

According to the latest opinion polls, slightly more than half of Germans oppose the NATO-led war in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated there was "no alternative" but renewing the Afghan military mandate.

OT/1412



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