Tue, Oct

Germany may keep some troops in Afghanistan: envoy



German Ambassador in Kabul Markus Potzel on Wednesday said his country might keep some troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016.

Potzel told Pajhwok Afghan News Germany would decide about its military presence in Afghanistan over the next two months.“I hope the German government would extend its soldiers presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016 because Afghan security forces may not be able to take charge of security affairs alone,” the envoy said.According to him, currently as many as 860 German soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan most of them in northern Balkh province.He said the US decision to keep 5,500 soldiers beyond 2016 would pave the way for a military presence of more NATO countries and these soldiers would play their role in training and assisting Afghan security forces.Besides security assistance, Potzel said his country had provided €430 million in aid to Afghanistan.Earlier, a senior NATO commander had said that some US allies were interested in keeping some of their troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016.The Associated Press quoted Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO commander in Europe, as saying that the member states had not yet announced exact numbers of soldiers they wanted to keep in Afghanistan.“We have been in contact with some of NATO member states, which played a great role in the Afghanistan mission earlier and they assured us of full support in this regard,” he added.Earlier, the Italian prime minister had said his country was considering keeping some soldiers in Afghanistan, where 850 German, 760 Italian and 500 Turkish troops are currently training the Afghan army.Totally as many as 13,000 foreign troops, including 9,800 US, were part of the NATO Resolute Support (RS) Mission in Afghanistan.