Germany will today (9 October) hand over command of the Feyzabad Provincial Reconstruction Team to the Afghans. This transfer marks the departure of the last ISAF forces from north-east Afghanistan. The Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) will no longer maintain a permanent presence in Badakhshan Province. However, work on German development projects in Badakhshan will be continued.
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin today:
The transfer of the PRT and the Feyzabad region shows that progress is being made on implementing the Afghanistan Strategy.
In spite of the setbacks and difficulties, we are moving step by step towards our goal of completing the handover of security responsibility and the withdrawal of international combat troops by the end of 2014.
One thing is clear: the road to peace in Afghanistan is still a long one, but we want to and will continue down it.
The official handover of the Feyzabad PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) today will be attended by senior Afghan representatives such as the Governor of Badakhshan. The German side will be represented by Federal Foreign Office officials and members of the Bundeswehr.