Germany’s parliament has granted a one-year extension of its military mandate for Afghanistan, allowing the country’s first major post-war troop deployment to continue until March 31, 2020.
The approval allows Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, to keep up to 1,300 soldiers in the country as part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission (RSM), providing support and training to Afghan security forces.
“Today, a vast majority in German Parliament voted for an extension of our military’s contribution to RSM in AFG. Up to 1,300 German soldiers will continue to train, assist, advise AFG security forces,” said Markus Potzel, Germany’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan in a tweet on Friday.
The mission has been extended with virtually the same mandate as in past years, though recent suggestions from Washington that the United States may draw down its presence have provoked some uncertainty among NATO allies.
Currently, Germany has 1,200 troops stationed in Afghanistan.
As quoted by dpa International, Fritz Felgentreu, a lawmaker from Germany’s Social Democrats, urged the deployment to continue, but warned that if the U.S. were to leave prematurely, the Bundeswehr would be expected to depart as well.