Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has suggested that Berlin’s military deployment in Afghanistan should be extended beyond its expiration in March, Germany’s dpaInternational reported.
Peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban will not be completed by then, Maas told the Funke Media Group newspapers in comments published Saturday.
“Therefore we must be prepared with a parliamentary mandate for various scenarios,” Maas said.
Germany’s military can deploy up to 1,300 soldiers as part of its role in the NATO Resolute Support mission, which is mandated to provide consultation, training and support for domestic security forces in Afghanistan.
The one-year deployment was estimated by the government to cost 427.5 million euros.
The discussion of withdrawing forces was prompted by a deal signed by the Taliban and the United States which foresees all foreign troops pulling out of the country by April.
In exchange, the Taliban committed to peace talks with the Kabul government and to significantly reducing violence.
However, violent conflict has continued in Afghanistan despite peace talks starting in September.
Maas said the new US administration under president Joe Biden should make a partnership possible again going forward.
There is agreement “that we want to take this deployment to an end together as coalition partners in a responsible way that does not endanger the peace process,” he said.