A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement today (14 May):
“Foreign Minister Westerwelle welcomes the announcement by the Afghan Government that it will assume responsibility for the security of 75% of the Afghan population and all 34 provincial capitals in a third transition phase before the end of the year.
The announcement shows that the internationally agreed transfer of responsibility for security in the country is making headway despite occasional setbacks.
Delivering as quickly as possible on the pledge to continue support for Afghanistan beyond 2014 is important for the further success of the transfer and the withdrawal of the international combat forces it entails. Foreign Minister Westerwelle is hoping for the Chicago NATO summit to generate momentum in this direction.”
At a meeting of the National Security Council in Kabul on 13 May, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced the transfer of responsibility for the security of further areas which are home to some 25% of the population into Afghan hands. The Afghan Government will thus be responsible for the security of 75% of the country’s population.
President Karzai’s decision means that the transition will begin in another 122 administrative districts including all remaining provincial capitals.
In the German area of responsibility in northern Afghanistan, further territories in the Kunduz, Baghlan and Badakhshan provinces will be included in the transition.