KABUL - Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Zalmai Rassoul met his German counterpart Dr. Guido Westerwelle at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Saturday. The visiting dignitary also met President Hamid Karzai before holding talks with Rassoul. The two ministers later addressed a joint media briefing.
The German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who unexpectedly reached Kabul on Saturday, said that 600 to 800 German soldiers will remain in Afghanistan post 2014 and Germany will not forget Afghanistan post 2014.
The German Foreign Minister said that his country expects a transparent, free and democratic election in Afghanistan.
"While we withdraw our combat troops during the stipulated time, we will not forget Afghanistan post 2014. The opening of a German Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif is a strong indication to the people of Afghanistan that we want to have a reliable and a sustainable relation with the country."
"I am very happy to see that the German Foreign Minister is going to Mazar-e-Sharif tomorrow to open and inaugurate the beautiful airport built by them and also open a Consulate which is of great importance for us to strengthen our relations with Germany."
Rassoul welcomed the German minister, praising Germany’s steadfast support for Afghanistan over the years. He also thanked Westerwelle for his personal commitment to the Afghan-German friendship.
While expressing satisfaction over bilateral relations, Rassoul briefed Westerwelle on the Afghan government’s peace efforts, preparations for the April 2014 elections and the ongoing transition process.
Speaking on the occasion, Westerwelle said the German government considered leaving behind 600-800 troops after 2014, when most combat troops are scheduled to pull of the country.
The withdrawal of German soldiers from Afghanistan would go ahead as planned, he said, promising that Berlin would not forget the war-torn country after 2014. (Pajhwok/Tolo News)