Austria rejects US pressure to send Afghan troops

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2009 5:30 PM

Austria's defense minister says his country will not give in to strong U.S. pressure to send troops to Afghanistan.

Norbert Darabos says Austria is a sovereign state that makes its own decisions about where to send soldiers. He says that while the Alpine nation is not prepared to send troops to Afghanistan, it is ready to take on more responsibility elsewhere, such as in the Balkans.

Darabos says Austria will increase its presence in Bosnia from 150 soldiers to 230 to compensate for other countries' recent withdrawals and cutbacks.

He says three Austrian officers are stationed in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Darabos commented in an interview posted Thursday on the Web site of Der Standard newspaper.