Speaking ahead of the start of the two-day NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting on Tuesday, Maas said the security of German soldiers cannot be guaranteed without American backing.
Maas said he hoped for the continued presence of US troops in Afghanistan – despite outgoing US President Donal Trump’s decision to accelerate the withdrawal of American soldiers from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January.
Meanwhile, most of the 11,000 NATO personnel currently in Afghanistan are from Europe and other member countries, but the alliance relies heavily on the US armed forces for air support and logistics.
Speaking in a televised interview with Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF, Maas said it is important “that the portion of American troops that are necessary for the security of German soldiers remain in Afghanistan.”
This was particularly in reference to the evacuation helicopters as an example. “Otherwise we can no longer guarantee the security of German soldiers.”