New German defence minister visits Afghanistan
German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrived in Afghanistan early Saturday on his first visit to the country since taking office three weeks ago, dpa reported.
He landed in Kabul, where he was scheduled to meet with President Hamid Karzai and the commander of the international forces, US General David Petraeus.
The trip came hours after the German parliament late Friday approved the increase of the German contingent in Afghanistan by 300 air force personnel, to free up resources for deployment to Libya.
De Maiziere replaced Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a former rising star of the ruling coalition, who resigned in early March when it emerged he had plagiarised large sections of his doctoral thesis.