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Bush no longer calls for deploying German troops in Afghanistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, March 30, IRNA
Germany-US-Afghanistan
US President George W. Bush is no longer demanding the deployment of German combat troops in war-stricken southern Afghanistan where NATO-led western forces are fighting a fierce battle against a revitalized Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgency, the daily Die Welt said in a report to hit the newsstands Monday.

Asked if the US is still calling for a German military engagement in southern Afghanistan, Bush replied according to the German-language transcript of the report, "No."

The US president made clear that he did not want to make any demands which partner states like Germany were not capable of carrying out.

Early this month, Bush had urged NATO allies to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Washington had repeatedly called for the stationing of German soldiers in the southern part of the war-torn country.

Berlin had time and again rejected the American request.

There are 43,000 NATO soldiers deployed throughout Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.

Germany, France and Italy have based troops in the relatively peaceful north Afghan region while US, British, Canadian and Dutch soldiers are battling it out in the south.

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