"Germany bears responsibility, especially with respect to security in the north of Afghanistan," the Chancellor underscored. But Germany has always pursued an approach within which economic development and the promotion of the school system and dual vocational training is considered just as important as training the security forces.
Germany thus offers Afghanistan assistance in many fields. At the heart of efforts is "the offer to establish economic contacts, the offer to be of assistance in the field of vocational education and training in particular," said Angela Merkel.
Germany will of course continue to offer assistance and support in the security sector, said the Chancellor, "although there will be no more active combat missions when ISAF comes to an end".
100 years of German-Afghan relations
2015 will be a very special year for both countries explained the Chancellor. "We will be celebrating 100 years of relations between Germany and Afghanistan." Angela Merkel agreed with the Afghan President that a month will be chosen, "in which we get to know one another better, especially in the cultural sector". Special events will then be held in both countries.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani thanked Germany for its support and honoured the Bundeswehr soldiers who have lost their lives during the NATO mission. He assured her that he would be fighting corruption and the drug trade. "We will do what we have to do. We are not going to talk down the problems."
Germany’s engagement as of 2015
The international community will continue to support Afghanistan. Germany’s civilian support will continue at the current high level of up to 430 million euros a year until 2016. These funds are used to promote a variety of areas including good governance, water and power supplies, health, police support, the rule of law, as well as the media, education, culture, economic development and employment.
Resolute Support mission in front of the German Bundestag
In the coming year German soldiers will still be deployed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on the German Bundestag to support this mandate. He looked back at German engagement to date in Afghanistan. After the attacks on 11 September 2001 Germany and its allies had taken on responsibility for Afghanistan, stressed Steinmeier, and it continues to accept this responsibility on a not insignificant scale.