News24

EU doubts Afghan war

2010-12-05 21:33

Brussels - Leaked diplomatic memos said that European Union President Herman Van Rompuy told America's ambassador that the EU no longer believes in success in Afghanistan, and that European troops are still there "out of deference to the United States".

US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, in the memo released by WikiLeaks, quotes Van Rompuy as saying in December 2009 that the EU will wait until the end of 2010 to see progress.

Van Rompuy, the former Belgian prime minister who at the time was EU president-designate, reportedly said that "if it doesn't work, that will be it, because it is the last chance".

"Europe is doing it and will go along out of deference to the United States but not out of deference to Afghanistan," the memo said citing Van Rompuy.

"No one believes in Afghanistan any more."

America's European allies contribute about 30 000 troops to the US-led Nato force in Afghanistan.

Last month, alliance leaders endorsed a plan to start turning over responsibility for security to Afghan forces next year. The summit in Lisbon, Portugal, said Nato's combat role would end in 2014.