In the presence of Germany’s foreign and defence ministers, the country’s combat forces have officially ended their 10 year Afghan deployment.
A ceremony was held in Kunduz camp in northern Afghanistan to mark the handover to the Afghan military. All international forces will have left the country by the end of 2014.
“There was a first class training here,” said German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere. “We have great trust in the strength and courage of Afghan soldiers and the Afghan police. Of course problems will continue to exist. We prepared well for this day.”
This was one of outgoing Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle’s last official assignments before leaving the German government.
Tribute was paid to fallen service personnel. During the decade long deployment, 35 German soldiers have lost their lives in attacks and in combat in Afghanistan.