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Germany

Germany Won't Send Troops But May Train Iraqi Police

Following U.S. President Bush's speech to the nation over the weekend, the German government said it is mulling other ways of helping out in Iraq. Troop contribution to a U.N. force, however, will not be one of them.

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German-trained Afghan police at a protest -- Will Iraqi officers benefit from the same training?

Government officials told reporters on Monday that Germany is reviewing whether to increase its financial contribution to Iraq's reconstruction or help train the Iraqi police forces.

The statements came a day after President George W. Bush called on nations in Europe to help out in stabilizing the increasingly chaotic country, saying it was in their best interest. Government spokesman Bela Anda said the German government shared the sentiment.

"Aside from Germany’s contribution in Afghanistan, we also have a common interest in seeing safety and stability come to Iraq," he told reporters.

Though ruling out a troop contribution to the U.N. multinational peacekeeping force currently being discussed for Iraq, Anda said there were other ways Germany could help. There is talk of increasing Germany's €75 million ($83 million) financial contribution to reconstruction in Iraq.

Anda also repeated a suggestion made by Schröder over the weekend that soldiers and police officers could be trained in Germany. German police officials have been training Afghani police for the past year and could do the same for Iraq.

U.N. force should have Muslim soldiers

The German government has joined a host of other nations, including Russia and France, in criticizing a draft U.N. resolution proposed by the United States last week. The countries, all war opponents, are demanding that Washington include a more political role for the United Nations then foreseen in the draft.

The Bush administration has maintained that the current proposal is fair and that the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governor Paul Bremer should continue to play a "dominant role" in postwar Iraq. On the other hand, they are desperate to get troop commitments from other nations to ease the burden on their soldiers, the victims of guerrilla and terrorist attacks in the country.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said a proposed multinational force should include soldiers from "moderate Islamic countries," and is reportedly in regular contact with his U.S. counterpart Colin Powell on the issue.

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