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Foreign Minister Maas in Afghanistan Afghanistan

Foreign Minister Maas attends a memorial service for fallen soldiers at Camp Marmal (MazareSharif)

Foreign Minister Maas attends a memorial service for fallen soldiers at Camp Marmal (MazareSharif), © Thomas Imo/photothek.net

11.03.2019 - Article

Germany is more engaged in the Hindu Kush than almost any other country. The visit will send a signal as to how German support will continue.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas travelled to Afghanistan on Sunday (10 March). Germany is one of the country’s most important supporters. Virtually no other country makes as much funding available for civilian reconstruction and stabilisation in Afghanistan as Germany does.

Germany is the second‑largest troop contributor

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani© Thomas Imo/photothek.net

The up to 1300 Bundeswehr soldiers form the second‑largest international contingent in Afghanistan. In Mazar‑e‑Sharif, Foreign Minister Maas will get an insight into the Bundeswehr’s activities and meet staff of a police Project.

Creating prospects

Help from the international community remains indispensable if the people of Afghanistan are to see any prospects in their country. The Federal Government will therefore continue its support, not only within the NATO framework, but also its civilian and humanitarian support. This includes providing displaced persons with food and drinking water as well as providing training for police officers.

Support and reform

Foreign Minister Maas will send a clear message in Afghanistan: Germany is prepared to provide further help, but the Afghan Government also has to follow‑up on its reform pledges, including for example, ensuring effective protection for democracy and human rights as well as fighting corruption. In this context, the Foreign Minister’s schedule includes talks with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah and women social activists.

Involving women and minorities

If Afghanistan is to develop in a stable manner, the priority is an improved security situation. Efforts to get a peace process going have gained momentum in recent months. In this context, the US commitment aims to involve the Taliban in a negotiating process aimed at bringing a peaceful settlement to the conflict. From Germany’s viewpoint, it is clear that sustainable peace can only be achieved by the Afghans themselves. Germany is therefore committed to ensuring that all groups in society, especially women and ethnic minorities, are involved in an appropriate way in any peace process.

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