German defense minister assesses Afghan presence | News | DW | 03.07.2012
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German defense minister assesses Afghan presence

German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrived in Afghanistan Tuesday for an unannounced visit with German troops stationed in the Kunduz region. It is his seventh trip in 16 months in office.

De Maiziere plans to assess the situation of the German troops as well as further examine the means of Germany's eventual troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The current plans from the government would have all German troops out of the country by 2014.

This includes logistics, such as what equipment should be brought back to Germany or what should be left.

"It doesn't make any sense to bring everything back to Germany only to have some of it return in 2015," de Maiziere said.

Germany currently has around 4,800 troops stationed in Afghanistan as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force. There are plans to continue assisting Afghanistan in reconstruction and development beyond 2014.

mz/ccp (dapd, dpa, AFP)