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Afghan-German cooperation pact to be signed next week

Afghan-German cooperation pact to be signed next week

May 11, 2012 - 15:53

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai would travel to Berlin next week for talks Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, ahead of the upcoming NATOinfo-icon summit in Chicago, his spokesman said on Friday.

In addition to inking a a long-term strategic cooperation pact, the two leaders would confer on preparations for the May 20-21 conference at their meeting, Aimal Faizi told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Faizi did not give a specific date for the presidential visit, but Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin earlier in the day that the meeting would take place on May 16.

During their meeting on the sidelines of the Bonn Conference on Afghanistaninfo-icon’s future direction, the two had agreed on concluding the accord. The draft was ready for signing, Faizi said.

A day earlier, Merkel said German troops would stay in Afghanistan until the end of 2014, when combat foreign soldiers are scheduled to leave the country. "The principle which applies for the German government is: We entered together, we will leave together."

Germany's partners should cling to commitments on Afghanistan's future, she told parliament, urging respect for the NATO timetable for the withdrawal. "The good news is that the process of handing over responsibility (to Afghan forces) is progressing as planned."

A major troop contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon), Germany has  a contingent of 5,350 soldiers and policemen in the wra-torn country. Fifty-three of them have been killed since the beginning of the German mission.


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