Germany has pledged ongoing annual aid to the Afghan security forces after western troops withdraw from the country in 2014.
On his way to the NATO summit in Chicago this weekend, Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Germany pledged 150 million euros (190 million dollars) in annual aid to the Afghan security forces after western troops withdraw from the country in 2014.
Signing the agreement on Wednesday that secures German funding for security training in Afghanistan after 2014 Merkel said: "This shows we are committed to Afghanistan in the long term." Germany's engagement in Afghanistan is "not just words," Merkel added. "Afghanistan's fate is close to our heart."
Karzai said he estimates Afghanistan will need 3.21 billion euros annually to run its security services, of which it could pay 392 million euros itself and possibly more as its economy strengthens. Further pledges are expected at the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday and Monday.
The two leaders also signed a partnership agreement for education assistance, infrastructure and economic cooperation.
Germany is the third biggest supplier of troops to the 130,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) after the United States and Britain. It has 4,900 soldiers in Afghanistan. Five hundred troops are to be withdrawn by 2013 before a complete pullout.