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EU foreign ministers question Afghan strategy

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EU foreign ministers question Afghan strategy


The deaths in Kunduz and growing public doubts about the war in Afghanistan have dominated a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Sweden. Luxembourg said the civilian deaths were an unacceptable catastrophe, while Britain admitted such attacks endangered the future of the NATO-led mission. Some are beginning to question the current strategy.

“I think it is the right moment after the first round of the elections, we’ll see if there’s a second, to see whether this strategy also on the civilian side is the right one,” said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU External Relations Commissioner. “We are not talking to each other,” said the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. “We are part of the alliance but we didn’t define a precise project and a European strategy. (We must) talk more about the basics, the suckle of our strategy – what are we there for? For how long and how to do (what we want).” Kouchner was blunt when asked what the EU could do to improve the situation. He said “Work with the Afghan people, not bomb them.” The return of the Taliban and the deteriorating security situation have prompted an urgent military review of the west’s operation in Afghanistan. Some say that should include a proper discussion of how and when to leave.

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