In the German Parliament, the Bundestag,German Chancellor Angela Merkel spelled out the government’s position regarding the recent Nato-led air attack in Afghanistan that reportedly killed civilians as well as Taliban insurgents.
She said, “Innocent injured and dead following German involvement, that is something I deeply regret.” However, the Chancellor was in no mood to go along with much of the widespread criticism of the German military decision of call in an allied air strike last Friday. “ I also want to stress that we don’t accept pre-judgements. I won’t accept that from any quarter whether in Germany or elsewhere.” Merkel told the Bundestag the question of civilian casualties in the air strike on two fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban is still to be cleared up. She justified the involvement of German troops in Afghanistan pointing out that the local population does not want to be abandoned. The German Chancellor insisted that following the recent Afghan presidential election the time has come for the leadership in Afghanistan to take over more responsibility for its own security. Merkel noted that talks should take place later this year to develop the proposal by Germany, France and Britain to help re-build Afghanistan politically and economically.