German defense minister to travel to Washington, Pakistan and Afghanistan

Germany's new defense minister will travel to Washington on Monday for talks with his U.S. counterpart Donald Rumsfeld and other officials, the government said Friday. Franz Josef Jung will also meet in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, German Defense Ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe said.

Raabe didn't say what issues Jung, who took office along with new German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month, would raise. From Washington, Jung travels on to Djibouti, the base for German sailors patrolling off the Horn of Africa as party of the U.S.-led counterterrorism operation Enduring Freedom.

Jung was to continue to Islamabad to examine German military efforts to help victims in Pakistan of the Oct. 8 earthquake, and to Afghanistan to visit German troops serving with the NATO-led security force, reports the AP. I.L.

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