| GEO World|
| Early Afghan pullout would be worse than 9/11: Merkel|
| Updated at: 1425 PST, Thursday, April 22, 2010|
BERLIN: Pulling out of Afghanistan too soon would be "far more disastrous" than 9/11 because of the danger of extremists getting hold of nuclear materials, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.
"The international community went in together, and we will pull out together. If we do not then the consequences, I am convinced, would be far more disastrous that the results of the September 11, 2001 attacks," Merkel said.
Merkel noted that a recent international conference had agreed that "nuclear terrorism is one of the world's biggest security dangers."
"If we fail to tackle nuclear disarmament properly, as we agreed to in Washington, and if we left Afghanistan without a plan, then the danger would increase a great deal that nuclear weapons and nuclear material could end up in the hands of extremist groups," Merkel said.