German Chancellor Merkel in Afghanistan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel chats with military officials upon arrival at the German military base in Kunduz, Afghanistan, May 10, 2013.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere are in Afghanistan to visit Germanyâ„¢s forces stationed in the war-torn country.

Merkel arrived in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday and made a short trip to the nearby city of Kunduz along with Thomas de Maiziere.

With around 4,200 forces mostly stationed in Afghanistanâ„¢s northern provinces of Kunduz, Balkh and Badakhshan, Germany ranks third after the United States and the UK in terms of the number of troops in the country. The US-led war on Afghanistan is widely unpopular in Germany.

Merkelâ„¢s visit comes a few days after a German soldier was killed and another one injured in the northern province of Baghlan on May 4.

The German chancellor stated that Germany would Å“keep an eye on the political process moving forward here.” Merkel also announced Berlinâ„¢s intention to proceed with its military involvement in Afghanistan after 2014.

Germany has vowed to keep up to 800 soldiers in Afghanistan, following the planned withdrawal of US-led forces from the country by the end of 2014.

On April 18, the German defense minister announced that Berlin had proposed to deploy between roughly 600 and 800 of its forces in Afghanistan for a two-year period beginning from 2015.

In late January, Germanyâ„¢s parliament extended the presence of German military forces in Afghanistan up until the end of 2014.

German soldiers have been in Afghanistan since 2001, when US-led forces invaded the country.


This article originally appeared on : Press TV