Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement to RedaktionsNetzwerkDeutschland media yesterday (18 November 2020) on the announcement of US troop drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq:
We cannot allow the schedule for the withdrawal of troops to be dictated by expiring terms in office or the wishes of the Taliban. Developments in the security situation and progress in the peace process must remain the guiding principle.
It would be fatal if the outgoing US Administration needlessly undid its own achievements in Afghanistan ‒ namely the start of peace talks ‒ in its final days. This would jeopardise everything we have achieved in the past years ‒ women’s and human rights, economic growth, and education opportunities for girls. I do not want to have to tell our soldiers and their relatives at some point that they have risked, let alone sacrificed, their lives in vain.