Troop exit be tied to progress in talks: Germany


KABUL: Germany says foreign troop withdrawal from Afghanistan shouldn’t be strictly steered by the US-Taliban peace deal but rather be contingent upon developments in the intra-Afghan talks.
Speaking at an event organized by Die Zeit and three other German newspapers, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday: “Our fear is that the Taliban could use this as a reason to leave the peace talks and seek a military solution.”
“So our approach is to say that we must couple both processes, the withdrawal of foreign forces with the peace negotiations,” Maas added.
“We don’t have to hang on slavishly to the date of the end of April — these things must be linked and when the peace negotiations are concluded successfully, the time will have come to withdraw foreign troops.”
Maas said an agreement would have to be sought with the US, the Afghan government and the Taliban in this regard. 
Germany is the second-biggest contributor to NATO’s Resolute Support training and assistance mission in Afghanistan, following the United States.