Germany calls for more efforts to enhance security, reconstruction in Afghanistan

By Xinhua,

MUNICH, Germany : German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said Sunday that more efforts should be paid to enhance security and reconstruction in Afghanistan amid calls from the United States to its allies to contribute more in the military aspect.

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“I think it is absolutely necessary we should implement the process (of security and reconstruction) in Afghanistan even more effectively. There can be no development without security, but there can be no security without development either,” said Jung at a debate session on Afghanistan at the 45th Munich Security Conference.

“We will not win by military means alone,” he said.

NATO has sent some 55,000 troops to the U.N.-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, with almost half of them from the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama is planning to send as many as 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and has made no secret that he wants Germany and other European countries to increase their involvement in the NATO-lead peacekeeping mission, but Germany and France have been reluctant to do so.

The German government is particularly cautious on the issue as the country holds general elections in September this year.

In his address, Jung stressed that Germany and its EU allies will do more in police training for Afghanistan.

The German government has decided to triple the number of its training teams in Afghanistan to 21, and increase its reconstruction aid to the country from 80 million euros (104 million U.S. dollars) to 170 million euros (221 million dollars).

He also called for attention to regional security, and urged effective contribution to secure Afghan border with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, he stressed the importance of cutting down civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

“If we want to win the hearts of people, we have to avoid civilian casualties,” said the German minister.

The three-day Munich conference, which concludes Sunday, with the participation of some 350 top politicians and security experts from more than 50 countries, focused on major international and regional security issues. (1 euro = about 1.3 dollars)