Germany’s newly-appointed Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has made a surprise visit to allied troops in Afghanistan.
She arrived on Sunday morning at Camp Marmal in the north. More than 3,800 German soldiers are deployed in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s international security force.
Von der Leyen is the first woman ever to hold the post of German Defence Minister.
The visit comes as negotiations are underway about a State of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to outline NATO’s overall role in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal. The agreement refers to NATO’s mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan army and police.