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|Tuesday, October 30, 2001, updated at 08:18(GMT+8)|
Schroeder: Germany Ready for Military Participation in AfghanistanGermany will be more engaged in the military strike on Afghanistan and answer to Americans' demand of participation actively, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Monday said in an interview with French daily Le Monde.
"We Germans were made to accept the idea of being an economic giant and political dwarf. We were comfortable with it. But now, no one will allow us to maintain such an attitude," said the chancellor when commenting on his repeated speeches that Germany should be ready for military participation in the Afghan conflict.
When asked whether his saying constitutes but a policy in theory "since the Americans demand no concrete participation neither from Germany, France nor others," Schroeder answered: "You do not know what was said. It is not as you think," adding that he cannot give further information.
"Germany has participated in the Kosovo war and more recently, in two NATO operations in Macedonia where we took command of an international security mission for the first time," he said.
"Our being at disposal following the September 11 terrorist attacks give a new nature to our engagement...What is new in the Afghan war is that it is outside Europe. We should pass beyond it (Europe)," he said.
Schroeder also said the military operations in Afghanistan must continue. "If we stop the bombing now, we allow the Talibans to catch their breath, which risks to let the conflict drag on," he said.
When asked about anti-war voices in Germany, the chancellor said he will talk to the Bundestag, Germany's parliament. "The absence of desire to go to war does not worry me. We will be capable of explaining to people that the situation sometimes demands other solution (than not go to war)," he said.
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