‘Germany stands by its responsiblities in Afghanistan’

KABUL, Afghanistan

With a visit by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Germany on Monday vowed it would continue to assume responsibility in conflict-torn Afghanistan for peace and development.

Maas landed in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif – where the bulk of German troops in the country are stationed for a NATO mission – late Sunday, and held meetings with the Afghan leadership in Kabul on Monday.

“Germany stands by its responsibility, which we have assumed as the second-largest donor and troops contributor,” Maas tweeted after landing in Afghanistan.

The top German diplomat was quoted by local Tolo News as saying peace is possible in Afghanistan.

“The landmark presidential elections in Afghanistan are scheduled for July, and there has been movement in the quest for a peace process with the Taliban, also thanks to the U.S. initiative,” he said.

Earlier this year, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet decided to extend Germany’s military mission in Afghanistan for one more year.

Germany has some 1,200 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission.

After Afghanistan, Maas is set to proceed to Pakistan.

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