Mike questions PM

Mike Gapes MP questioned Prime Minister Gordon Brown on his statement on Monday reporting back on the EU summit and the Prime Minister’s visit to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Here is the exchange.

Mike Gapes (Ilford, South) (Lab/Co-op): The Prime Minister has rightly referred to his efforts to improve the climate between India and Pakistan and to secure greater co-operation against terrorism, but does he not agree that the Afghan Government also have a responsibility to improve co-operation with Pakistan so that there is a collective effort? He referred to burden sharing. What discussions has he had with his German partners in NATO about Germany’s beginning at last to pull its weight in European and NATO security, especially in the context of the dangerous areas in Afghanistan?

The Prime Minister: I should point out to my hon. Friend that the German Government have taken responsibility for the training of police in Afghanistan. They have a number of people allocated from Germany to do that, and they are taking responsibility for the rest of the European Union to do that. If we are to succeed in Afghanistan, we will have to increase not only the number of soldiers and armed forces trained—70,000 are being trained at the moment—but the quality and quantity of police on the ground to do the job. Those who visit Musa Qala, as I did, will see that the police force is working in providing law and order. In every other part of Afghanistan we must carry out the training that is absolutely essential, and the German Government have agreed to take the lead in that.

posted 17 December 2008


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