Germany, NATO to keep troops in Afghanistan for long period
The defense minister expressed hope that Afghanistan would be able to tackle the pressing domestic issues, APA reports quoting Sputnik.
"The presence of German and allied forces in Afghanistan will remain for a while and the importance of Afghan security forces' training has not become less. We will not allow the terrorists to get an advantage," von der Leyen told the Funke Mediengruppe media company in an interview.
"It is difficult to stabilize Afghanistan. But I am convinced that this long-suffering land will cope with it," the minister added.
Afghanistan has been experiencing significant political, social and security-related instability for decades, as terrorist organizations, including the Taliban radical movement and Daesh terrorist group continue to stage attacks against civilian and military targets.
In 2001, the United States and its NATO allies launched a mission in Afghanistan following 9/11 attacks. The mission ended on December 28, 2014. However, on January 1, 2015, NATO announced its new mission in the country, called Resolute Support, to train and assist the Afghan security forces. The German troops have been stationed in Afghanistan since 2002.
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