World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany’s parliament approved Thursday a ten-month extension of the German military’s (Bundeswehr) mission in Afghanistan.
In the lower house of parliament, Bundestag, 498 deputies voted in favor of extension while 84 opposed and 17 abstained.
The new mandate enjoyed broad support from the deputies of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative-left coalition government, which has overwhelming parliamentary majority.
Most of the deputies from the opposition Green Party and Die Linke opposed the extension.
According to the new mandate which is valid until December 31, the upper limit of German soldiers available for service in Afghanistan is reduced from 4,400 to 3,300.
The ten-month deployment's cost is expected to be around 580 million euros.
Since 2002, Germany has been one of the key contributors to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan.
The Bundestag's Thursday decision secured the last-phase extension of Germany’s twelve-year military deployment in the country.
As NATO is planning to cease all combat operations by the end of 2014, Germany is considering keeping around 600 soldiers in Afghanistan after 2014 as part of a follow-up mission to train Afghan army personnel.Last Mod: 21 Şubat 2014, 11:42