African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Canada renews calls for troops to Afghanistan

Posted by African Press International on September 21, 2007

Former Foreign Minister Jan Petersen said Thursday that Norway must heed NATO members’ calls for help in violent southern Afghanistan.

Former Foreign Minister Jan Petersen from the Conservatives(right) and Defense Minister Anne-Grete Strm-Erichsen of the Labour Party don’t seem to agree on the need to send Norwegian troops to southern Afghanistan.

PHOTO: Cornelius Poppe / SCANPIX

While Norway has troops in the north of the country, the center-left government has resisted earlier calls for troops to be sent to the southern part of the country, where the Taliban has made serious inroads.

NATO officials haven’t put more pressure on Norway of late, but now the Canadian foreign minister wants some relief for his country’s troops in the south.

“We expect that other countries will play a bigger role,” Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Canadian and Dutch troops have long been stationed in southern Afghanistan, and now MacKay thinks other NATO troops must share more of the burden in Afghanistan.

“We must absolutely be prepared to go to southern Afghanistan,” Petersen told NRK. “I can sure understand that Canada and the Netherlands are feeling alone there.”

Norway’s defense minister, Anne-Grete Strm-Erichsen of the Labour Party, responded that Norway so far has met all official NATO requests. She claimed NATO officials were pleased with the job Norway is doing in Afghanistan.

By Nina Birgelund

Lifted and Published by API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source. aftenposten

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