German Pledges $190 Million Annually for Afghan Security

Posted May 16th, 2012 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Germany has pledged to contribute $190 million per year to help sustain Afghan security forces after the withdrawal of foreign troops scheduled in 2014.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Afghan President Hamid signed the agreement Wednesday in Berlin, days before Mr. Karzai joins a NATO summit in the United States with the leaders of donor countries.

Germany is the third largest military contingent serving with NATO in Afghanistan after the United States and Britain.

Earlier Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said her country would provide $100 million annually to Afghanistan for three years beginning in 2015.

Foreign combat troops are scheduled to pull out of Afghanistan and transfer security to Afghan National Security Forces by the end of 2014.

Australia, which has over 1,500 troops in Afghanistan, announced in March that its troops would withdraw from the country in mid-2013, one year earlier than previously planned.

Gillard said Wednesday that Australia would consider an ongoing special forces presence in the country after the Afghans take control, saying it has a “vital national interest” in supporting Afghanistan's stability.

She also said Canberra will maintain a “substantial development assistance program” beyond 2014 to assist in areas such as health and education.

About 32 Australian troops have been killed in the U.S.-led effort that toppled the Taliban after the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.