Germany’s parliament has granted a one-year extension of its military mandate for Afghanistan, allowing the country’s first major post-war troop deployment to continue until March 31, 2020.
The approval allows Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, which are mostly deployed in the north of Afghanistan, to keep up to 1,300 soldiers in the country as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, providing support and training to Afghan security forces.
Markus Potzel, Germany’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan in a tweet on Friday made the announcement and said a vast majority in German Parliament voted for an extension of Germany military’s contribution to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
“Up to 1,300 German soldiers will continue to train, assist, advise AFG security forces,” he said.
The mission has been extended with virtually the same mandate as in past years, though recent suggestions from Washington that the United States may draw down its presence have provoked some uncertainty among NATO allies.
Quoted by dpa.international, Fritz Felgentreu, a lawmaker from Germany’s Social Democrats, urged the deployment to continue but warned that if the US were to leave prematurely, the Bundeswehr would be expected to depart as well.