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DM: No deadline for Spain's military presence in Afghanistan
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08:46, December 24, 2007

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Spanish defence minister said no deadline will be set for the country's military presence in war-torn Afghanistan, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

"We need to remain the time necessary so the country can manage its own security and development," Jose Antonio Alonso said in an interview with Publico daily.

It is impossible now to set a deadline for western troops to leave Afghanistan as the mission there is complicated, he said.

Spain has more than 700 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led international force.

Alonso, however, called on participating countries to think about the mission, citing the worsening situation in Iraq after a U.S.-led force was stationed there.

"In Iraq, what has followed the intervention has destabilized the country and the region," he said, adding that they are trying their best now to stabilize Afghanistan.

Attacks by Taliban militants regained force this year and the country has seen a record number of suicide bomb attacks.

Source: Xinhua

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