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Tuesday, 8 July 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Stabilisation of Afghanistan: challenges for the EU and the international community (debate)

  Angelika Beer, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we are in a paradoxical situation. My Group will recommend that everyone reads the original report produced by Mr Brie so that they will understand the nature of the challenges facing us in Afghanistan. What then happened was that a majority in the Committee on Foreign Affairs simply amended and deleted the measures that were so urgently needed. We simply cannot say: more troops, everything to continue as before, everything is going well. Nothing is going well! Yesterday’s attack showed that. We need to revise the military strategy; we need to bring all the different initiatives together. This was actually what we wanted to achieve together.

My group tabled the amendments in conjunction with the Socialist Group in order to fight now to achieve this important objective, Mr Brie. I say this with all the respect that I have had for the work that you have done in recent years: we are arguing here about what is the right position to take and it is cowardly on your part – just because your Group has stabbed you in the back, and all over a subtly different position that also states that we need troops, but we need to do it properly – to simply duck your head and say that you are withdrawing your name. This is not helping the Afghan people, neither is it helping this Parliament to develop a coherent strategy for Afghanistan.

I would call on everyone to vote for the amendments, then we will be fulfilling our responsibilities: our responsibilities to those we are sending over there, the policemen and the soldiers, and to those we want to help, namely the people of Afghanistan.

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