KABUL: Germany has reportedly announced that it plans to continue its military presence in Afghanistan as the country believes the peace talks won’t be concluded by March.
Germany seconds the United States in terms of troop presence in Afghanistan and maintains a huge contingent – about 1,100 German troops are stationed in the country.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said peace talks between the German government and the Taliban “will not be concluded before the end of March,” when Germany’s annual mandate is due to expire.
“That is why we must prepare for different scenarios, including a new mandate with the Bundestag [German Parliament],” he told the Funke media group.
The US-Taliban deal signed in February last year stipulates that all foreign forces should withdraw by May 2021.
But a senior U.S. official said on Friday that as the deadline looms, President Joe Biden faced “serious dilemmas,” and the Taliban are showing no sign of stopping their violence.
Meanwhile, several German parliamentary groups, mainly the liberals and the far left, have recently called for a strategy of disengagement from Afghanistan following a 20-year military presence in the country.