German defense minister arrives in Afghanistan on surprise visit
By Sadaf Shinwari - Tue Mar 05 2013, 3:58 pm
During his visit to Afghanistan defense minister Thomas de Maiziere headed to the International Security Assistance Force’s Regional Command North base at Mazar-i-Sharif, since February commanded by German Brigadier General Jörg Vollmer.
De Maiziere has visited Afghanistan for ten times during the past two years since he has been appointed as German defense minister.
His visit to Afghanistan comes amid his weekend remarks to prepare a plan for the German withdrawal from Afghanistan, where the country has 4,350 soldiers.
This comes as the lower house of parliament of Germany Bundestag recently voted to lower the mandate limit from 5,350 soldiers to 3,300 beginning in February of 2014 and change its role to training and consulting Afghan national security forces.