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Germany welcomes US troop boost in Afghanistan, but won’t follow suit

The German government announced that US President Donald Trump’s decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan was “the right thing to do.”

“It is the right thing to do and we have been requesting for some time that the end of operations there be based on realities on the ground,” a government Spokeswoman said, The Local reported.

“It is our common goal that no more terror attacks are planned on Afghan soil,” she added.

Berlin also stressed that the government in Kabul needs to push through a program of reforms, do more to tackle corruption and enter dialogue with the parts of the Taliban which are prepared to come to a peaceful compromise.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen also welcomed the decision but stressed that Germany would not follow suit by further raising its troop numbers.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel meanwhile said that “we expect the US to agree on action in close cooperation with Europe.”

He announced that a stable Afghanistan was also in Europe’s interest, as conflict in the country has pushed Afghans to seek asylum in the EU.

“More migration destabilizes Europe as well as Afghanistan,” he added.

Trump has unveiled a new US strategic guidance for the South Asia strategy, which included expanded authorities to target terrorists in Afghanistan. However, the US President added that Washington would not reveal the number of troops or any future military action plans in Afghanistan.

“Our troops will fight to win,” Trump said, and he insisted victory in Afghanistan would be clearly defined.

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