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Germany Promises Help To Local Staff Amid Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer visits with German troops stationed in Mazar-e Sharif on February 26.

The German defense minister says she wants to help bring some Afghan employees of her country's military to Germany as NATO allies prepare to withdraw their remaining troops from Afghanistan after nearly two decades.

"I feel it is Germany's sincere duty to not leave these people without protection now that we will permanently withdraw," Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told the German news agency dpa in comments published on April 18.

U.S. President Joe Biden and NATO announced on April 14 that they would pull out the roughly 10,000 international troops still in Afghanistan by September 11. The troop withdrawal is expected to begin on May 1.

Germany is the second-largest contingent in Afghanistan, with nearly 1,100 troops and about 300 local employees, including interpreters.

The Welt am Sonntag newspaper cited the Interior Ministry as saying that Germany plans to set up an office in Kabul and probably also one in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan to help process cases.

Since 2013, Germany has taken in 781 Afghans at risk in their own country after working for the foreign military, as well as about 2,500 family members.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters