German cabinet set to extend Afghanistan mission into 2022, defence minister says


FILE PHOTO: The outgoing leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer takes her face mask off ahead of the second day of the party's 33rd congress held online amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Berlin, Germany January 16, 2021. Odd Andersen/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - The cabinet in Berlin will give the green light on Wednesday for an extension of Germany's military mission in Afghanistan until Jan 31, 2022, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Tuesday.

The current parliamentary mandate for the German operation with up to 1,300 troops expires at the end of March while the new U.S. government is reviewing a 2020 agreement with the Taliban which called for foreign troops to withdraw by May 1.

A premature withdrawal of NATO troops could jeopardize peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, Kramp-Karrenbauer warned, adding NATO troops needed to prepare for Taliban violence should they stay beyond the end of April.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold, editing by Thomas Escritt)

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