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Focus on terrorism misleading?

BERLIN, May 6 (UPI) -- Governments should focus less on fighting terror because that might mean losing sight of other important issues, Germany's potential next foreign minister said.

"We have reached a point in time when we have to emancipate ourselves from Sept. 11, 2001, as the decisive event for international politics," said Guido Westerwelle, the head of the opposition Free Democrats and one of the top candidates for the foreign minister post after this year's elections, speaking in Berlin.

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Focusing on the anti-terror fight has caused governments to miss or see too late important issues such as energy security or education.

That doesn't mean Germany should pull out of Afghanistan, he added. Germany has nearly 4,000 troops serving with the International Security Assistance Force in the northern provinces of the country.

Westerwelle, who presented his foreign policy agenda at the German Council on Foreign Relations, a Berlin-based think tank, said the West was at a crossroads regarding its relations with Russia. He argued in favor of increasing cooperation with Moscow in order to strengthen the country's westward course.

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