Source: Germany to extend Afghanistan mission
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government will extend Germany's mission to Afghanistan for another year, but not increase the number of troops, a source close to the government said Wednesday, AP reported.
The decision, which is to be announced later in the day, requires parliamentary approval, and that is expected before the current mandate expires in December.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement, said Merkel's Cabinet agreed to extend the country's participation in the NATO-led mission to Afghanistan for an additional 12 months.
More than 4,000 troops are currently serving in Afghanistan under a mandate that limits their number to no more than 4,500.
The source said the government also will extend by a year a mission to fight piracy off the coast of Africa, although the number of troops will be reduced by 100 to 700. A third mission to patrol the Lebanese coastline will be extended until June 2010, although the number of troops is to be reduced from 1,200 to 800.