Germany is planning to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in early July.
That is against the backdrop of Washington’s planned pullout of the remaining US forces in the country by September 11.
“The current thinking… is to shorten the withdrawal period. A withdrawal date of July 4 is being considered,” a spokesperson for Germany’s Defense Ministry told AFP on Wednesday, noting that the final decision would be made by NATO.
Some 1,100 German troops are currently deployed to Afghanistan, the second biggest contingent of soldiers in the country after the US.
Last week, NATO agreed to start withdrawing forces from Afghanistan by May 1.
Two decades have passed since the United States, along with its NATO allies, invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. The ‘forever war’ – as some in the US has labeled it – removed the Taliban from power.
The militant group was removed, but not incapacitated.
In February 2020, the Taliban struck a deal with the administration of then US President Donald Trump that would have seen American troops withdraw by May 2021 in exchange for security guarantees.
Trump’s successor Joe Biden has pushed that deadline back to September 11.
The war in Afghanistan has left tens of thousands of civilians dead and killed more than 2,200 US troops.