German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Sunday's announcement of new Afghan regions to be handed over to the country's security forces was a positive sign, a week ahead of an international Afghanistan conference in the German city of Bonn, dpa reported.
"This is another important step on the path to the transfer of security responsibility and a good signal head of the Bonn Afghanistan conference," Westerwelle said in a statement.
Earlier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced a new list of cities and provinces - covering half of Afghanistan's population - to be handed over by NATO-led international troops for the second phase of the transition.
"All of Balkh, Daykundi, Takhar, Samangan, Nimroz and Kabul provinces are to be transferred in the second phase," said a statement by the presidential palace.
At a December 5 conference in the former German capital Bonn, foreign ministers and government representatives from almost 100 countries are due to discuss the period after the 2014 deadline for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan.