Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement to media representatives today (16 May), following talks with Afghan President Karzai:
I am pleased at the success of our efforts to draw up a German-Afghan partnership agreement. This agreement is important for our future cooperation, for stabilizing Afghanistan and for providing it with a secure future.
The withdrawal of our combat troops has begun and will continue. It is vital for us not to leave behind a security vacuum – we want to ensure that Afghanistan cannot turn back into a safe haven for terrorism which then poses a threat to us here in Europe and in Germany.
That is why this agreement represents a milestone in the partnership between our two countries. The agreement envisages the unequivocal transfer of responsibility for security, and makes clear that we will not forget Afghanistan after withdrawing our troops, but rather intend to keep working together.