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Friday, 9 August, 2002, 22:28 GMT 23:28 UK
Schroeder rules out Iraq 'adventure'
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
Schroeder is heading into an election campaign

The German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has broken ranks with America's other European allies by saying that Germany will not participate in any military action against Iraq.

It is not the first time the German Chancellor has indicated his unwillingness to take part in any invasion of Iraq - but in an interview to be broadcast tonight on German television, Mr Schroeder appears to have gone one step further.

According to ARD television, Mr Schroeder has ruled out the use of German troops in any military strike, saying that Germany would not take part.

CDU/CSU candidate Edmund Stoiber
Stoiber also opposes German participation
He spelt out that the country should hold back.

Mr Schroeder went on to say that after America, Germany had the second-largest number of troops deployed abroad - more than any other European country.

The Chancellor said their limit had been reached. He warned that was his position today and it would not change.

Mr Schroeder said other Nato members were fully aware of this.

Behind in the polls

Mr Schroeder revealed his hardline stance on Monday at a rally in Hanover at the start of his official election campaign.

At the time, he said that Germany was not ready for any foreign policy adventures.

With the Social Democrats trailing the opposition conservatives by up to seven points in the opinion polls, some analysts have accused the chancellor of trying to pick up left-wing votes by voicing his opposition to a strike on Iraq just six weeks before the election.

However, his conservative rival Edmund Stoiber, visiting German troops in Kosovo this week, has also said the German army is not in a position to get involved in any more operations outside Germany.


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08 Aug 02 | Middle East
07 Aug 02 | Middle East
07 Aug 02 | Middle East
02 Aug 02 | Middle East
09 Aug 02 | Middle East
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