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Germany

Anti-Terrorist Coalition Number One Topic

Chancellor Schröder appeals to his fellow SPD members to support his policy on Afghanistan.

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Schröder practices his powers of persuasion.

The anti-terrorist coalition dominated discussions at the second day of the SPD party congress in Nuremberg. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder urgently asked his party members for support.

Several SPD politicians are against Schröder's plans to mobilize German troops for the US-led mission.

"The decision we face here is also a decision about our political capabilities," he told the delegates on Tuesday. He said unanimity within the SPD was necessary for the success of Berlin's policies. "I am asking for such unity."

Germany Fulfilling its Responsibilities

The Chancellor stressed that the mobilization of troops was not "a readjustment" to German politics. He said Germany could not just claim rights and protection from NATO, but also had to meet its responsibilities. The fall of the Iron Curtain had changed the world. The SPD could not act as if this development had no consequences, he said.

He noted Germany's participation already in Kosovo and Macedonia. However, Schröder didn't mention that these were peace-keeping operations. The troops being sent to the Afghanistan region are the first to take part in a military operation since World War Two.

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul

Deutsche Welle, Rundfunkrat, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, HA Kommunikation

Foreign Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (photo) called on the delegates to approve the government course. "Prevention alone is not enough to counter the current situation of international terrorism," she said.

Guest speaker British Prime Minister Tony Blair will give a speech on the war against terrorism on Tuesday afternoon.

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