NATO Secretary General RasmussenGermany offered Thursday to provide up to 800 soldiers for a NATO training mission in Afghanistan after U.S. and other foreign combat troops leave the country by the end of next year.

Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, “I warmly welcome the German commitment … to contribute in such a significant way.”

While speaking during a press conference, Rasmussen said, Germany could “serve as an example … an encouragement” to other countries who have forces under Nato command fighting the Taliban.

However German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said, the offer requires however that Kabul formally requests the troop presence because “we want to be welcome,” as well as a UN Security Council resolution.

Northern Afghanistan has been the main operational area of around 4,500 German troops currently stationed in Afghanistan.

Maiziere told a joint news conference together with Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle that Germany’s mission in Afghanistan from the beginning of 2015 is intended to train the country’s soldiers and to provide advisory services and support for the Afghanistan army.

This comes as the U.S. is expected to keep between 9,000 and 10,000 troops in Afghanistan as a residual force after 2014, but no final decision has been made.