Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai arrived in Germany Friday, three days before a conference in Bonn where key world leaders are set to discuss the future of his embattled nation, dpa reported.
Expectations for the conference have slumped since the announcement by Pakistan, which has leverage with rebel groups in Afghanistan, that its leaders will stay away in protest of NATO troops' striking a border post.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and a military honour guard welcomed Karzai at Bonn's airport. Germany is hosting the meeting, but Karzai will officially be conference chairman.
Westerwelle at the ceremony said Afghanistan can "count on" Germany. Karzai praised Germany for being in the lead among those helping Afghanistan over the past decade.
On Monday, 85 countries and 16 international organizations are slated to discuss long-term assistance for the war-torn country after NATO ends its mission in Afghanistan in 2014.
Pakistan has refused to budge from its boycott amid allegations that 24 of its military personnel were killed in a recent NATO airstrike. Many diplomats, observers and experts say a peace plan cannot work without Pakistan, as insurgents are known to take refuge across the border in Pakistan's mountainous regions.
The German tabloid Bild on Friday cited what it described as a classified document from the US Combined Joint Intelligence Operations Centre, which said Afghanistan would slide towards a civil war once international troops withdraw in 2014.
Bild also reported, citing the alleged document, that Karzai believed the conference was designed to isolate him and possibly remove him from power.
The NATO mission has failed to achieve a decisive victory against the Taliban insurgency after a costly 10-year war.
Discussions are expected to focus on the transfer of security responsibilities to the Afghan government; peace talks with the Taliban; economic development; and long-term regional stability.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told news media on Friday that there was no military solution for Afghanistan and that only reconciliation can achieve peace and stability.