Germany looks to July date for Afghanistan troop withdrawal

The German military is planning a more rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan than previously planned, the Defence Ministry informed parliament said on Wednesday, according information received by dpa.

Consultations with partners in NATO were underway  that could see Germany’s 1,100 troops pull by as early as July 4.

The United States, which puts up the largest contingent of the 10,000-strong NATO force, has set its withdrawal date as 11, the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks.

A Defence Ministry told dpa that the countries involved were currently examining the challenges and consequences, adding that July 4 being considered as the final pullout date.

The final decision lay with NATO, he added.

Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer previously set mid-August as the deadline.

The Defence Ministry highlighted the logistical challenges, with most of the equipment being returned Germany by air.

Earlier plans suggested that equipment could be abandoned in the country, with equipment seen as a security risk destroyed. (dpa/NAN)