Foreign Minister Westerwelle made the following comments in Brussels regarding the Bundestag’s approval today (31 January) of the mandate for participation in International Security Assistance Force:
“I welcome the fact that once again, a broad majority of the German Bundestag voted to support our soldiers on their difficult mission in Afghanistan.
The handover of responsibility for security to Afghanistan and the incremental withdrawal of combat troops will continue as planned in a highly responsible manner and in close cooperation with our partners. We will conclude the ISAF mission by the end of 2014.
The message is clear: we will not abandon Afghanistan after 2014. After our combat troops have withdrawn, stabilization and reconstruction in Afghanistan will remain a key priority for German foreign policy.”
The mandate for the German forces’ participation in the ISAF mission was approved by a big majority in the Bundestag (435 votes for, 111 against and 39 abstentions).