German soldiers gin up the holiday spirit in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan; receive a "peace flame" candle lit in Bethlehem and transported by air to Mazar; and remember fifty fallen comrades.
Germany's defense minister has called for Afghan politicians to play a role in peace talks with the Taliban. The militant Islamist group has refused to engage with Kabul, instead focusing on direct talks with Washington.
Millions of Muslim soldiers fought in Europe during World War I, but their contribution has been largely forgotten. New research has uncovered tales of courage and comradeship that could counter anti-Islamic sentiment.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Monday that she supported an extension of German participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Over 1,000 German troops are currently stationed there.
The US has resumed talks with the Taliban in Qatar, a US source said, in a renewed bid to end the long war in Afghanistan. It comes months after the US president abruptly halted diplomatic engagement with the insurgents.
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