BERLIN: German Cabinet has approved an increase in the presence of country’s troops in Afghanistan.
Chancellor Angela Merkel approved to expand Germany’s military missions abroad, including in Afghanistan, Mali and Iraq.
According to Reuters, the defence bill, which is yet to be approved by the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, would raise the number of German troops deployed in Afghanistan by a third to 1,300.
The cabinet’s decision implements an agreement on defence made by Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left SPD during negotiations about a re-run of the ‘grand coalition’ that ruled Germany since 2013.
It also includes a plan to add 100 more troops to Germany’s 1,000-strong deployment to a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali in order to meet increased maintenance needs and Germany’s new responsibility for a military base in Gao.
The decision to increase German military presence in Afghanistan comes against a backdrop of increased violence and a new peace initiative launched by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.