Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Green Party Enters 'Debate' on Afghanistan

News Release
For Immediate Release

Green Party Enters 'Debate' on Afghanistan

(Kingston, Ontario, 18 April, 2006) - "The Green Party of Canada is opposed to extension of the Canadian military deployment to southern Afghanistan beyond the scheduled February 2007 end date," said the Green Party's Foreign Affairs critic Eric Walton.

"Preventing the Taliban from recapturing power benefits the Afghan people and the international community," said Walton, "but we now need to shift training and security assistance to predominantly Muslim UN member nations. Also, we need to increase and better equip Afghan Army troops directly involved in counter-insurgency operations."

The Green Party is concerned that the high profile of western nations in Afghanistan may be assisting the Taliban in recruiting new insurgents.

Unlike Iraq, the intervention in Afghanistan has a UN mandate. There are currently 52 nations in the UN with majority Muslim populations representing one quarter of the world's population.

The Green Party of Canada strongly supports enhancing Canada 's efforts to rebuild and strengthen Afghan society through long-term development and humanitarian and diplomatic assistance.

Almost half of Afghanistan's citizens are children under the age of 15. The country has one of the highest percentages of widows and orphans in the world. The people of Afghanistan have suffered through 30 years of warfare and are in desperate need of development assistance and institutional capacity building, as well as basic human security.

For more information:
Derek Pinto
Media Relations Officer

Authorized by the Chief Agent of the Green Party of Canada

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