German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced on Saturday that the German government wants its soldiers to stay longer in Afghanistan. After the United States, Berlin provides the largest group of soldiers in the South Asian country.
Maas told German media that the peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban “will not end until the end of March” when the mandate of the German forces ends. “That is why we have to prepare for various scenarios, including a new mandate from the Bundestag.”
German forces are part of the 10,000-strong NATO force in Afghanistan. The coalition defense ministers will discuss the future of the mission later this month. Around 150 Dutch military are currently participating in the Resolute Support Mission of NATO, according to the Defense Ministry in The Hague. Its main task is to train and advise Afghan security services.
The Taliban and the United States have agreed to withdraw all American forces from the country by May this year. There are now about 2,500 US troops in Afghanistan, the lowest number since the start of the war in 2001.
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