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German chancellor concedes errors in Afghanistan policy

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, April 22, IRNA -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said mistakes had been made as a result of her country's controversial political and military strategy in Afghanistan.

"There has been some progress, there have been many setbacks and our objectives were partially either very unrealistic or wrong," Merkel said in her address to parliament in the wake of the recent deaths of seven German soldiers in two separate attacks in northern Afghanistan this month.

The German leader rejected again calls for a swift withdrawal from Afghanistan, branding it "irresponsible."

The repercussions of such a move would be "much more devastating than the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks," she added, warning that Afghanistan could then be "drowned in chaos and anarchy."

Merkel stressed a sudden military withdrawal would be an "encouragement to all extremists, well beyond the borders of Afghanistan."

Meanwhile, the chancellor made clear imposing a western-style democracy in Afghanistan was doomed to fail.

Only 27 percent of Germans support the disputed mission in Afghanistan amid mounting German military deaths in the war-stricken country, according to a survey published by the daily Welt.

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End News / IRNA / News Code 1072057



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