Germans extend Afghan mission another year

Netherlands approves police training mission

Despite polls suggesting the mission is deeply unpopular, Germany’s parliament has voted to keep troops fighting in Afghanistan for at least another year. A strong majority in the Bundestag approved of sending up to 5,350 soldiers to take part in combat operations until Jan. 31, 2012. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Germany will focus on handing over responsibility in the coming year. “We want to make sure that by 2014 there is no longer any need for German troops in Afghansitan,” he added. So far, 45 German soldiers and police have been killed in the war, compared to 136 Canadians. Germany is the third biggest troop contributor with 4,860 service personal in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Dutch parliament approved a new 545-strong police-training force, despite right-wing opposition to the move.

BBC News

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