Germany and Afghanistan - Bilateral relations
Germany and Afghanistan share a long history of positive bilateral relations, whose beginning was marked by the expedition of a legation sent by the German Emperor in 1915 in order to forge ties with Afghanistan and to draw it into the First World War on the side of the Central Powers. The mission was not successful, but it laid the groundwork for the bilateral relations between the two countries. The foundation of the German secondary school in Kabul at the beginning of the 1920s was a good example of the great interest both countries had in each other from the start. Enlarge image President Karzai welcoming President Gauck with military honours in the President’s Palace (© picture-alliance / dpa) As early as 1926, bilateral relations were laid down in writing by the Treaty of Friendship between Germany and Afghanistan. After the Second World War, relations between the two nations intensified on all levels. Many Afghans studied in Germany, while German lecturers taught at Afghan universities. Today, Germany is second home to around 100,000 Afghans.
Following war, civil war and the fall of the Taliban regime, it was only natural for Germany to support Afghanistan on its road towards a new democratic future. Since the first conference on Afghanistan, which was held at Petersberg close to Bonn in December 2001, Germany has expressly supported the political process that will lead Afghanistan towards a stable and peaceful future. Milestones of the Bonn process, which was concluded by Afghanistan’s first parliamentary elections in 2005, were the adoption of a modern constitution committed to human and civil rights and the election of a President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan legitimised by popular vote.
Germany supports reconstruction in Afghanistan. “Germany has provided more development aid funding to Afghanistan than it has to any other country in the world,” Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier said during his visit to Kabul on 30 August 2015. Against the background of a strategy of a “handover of responsibilities” and commitments made by the Afghan Government at conferences in London, Kabul and Tokyo in the fields of governance and the fight against corruption, the German Government has raised its financial commitments since 2010 to 430 million euros per annum until the end of 2016. Enlarge image (© picture alliance / Sven Simon) In the field of security, the other pillar of its support, Germany has been part of the NATO mission Resolute Support (RSM), in which it has assumed responsibility for the base at Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan with the help of 20 partner countries. Germany provides 980 soldiers within the framework of RSM. The mission’s tasks are to provide training, guidance and support to the Afghan security forces. Furthermore, Germany provides support in the form of bilateral police cooperation (German Police Project Team, GPPT), including advisory services and support for the command level of the Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan National Police Academy, and the border police at Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif airport.
Germany and Afghanistan are celebrating 100 years of bilateral relations in 2015/16. The beginning of the anniversary year was marked by Foreign Minister Steinmeier’s visit to Kabul in August 2015. The visit by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Berlin from 1 to 3 December 2015, during which he held talks with Federal President Gauck, Federal Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier. was the highlight of the celebrations. Federal Minister of Defence von der Leyen and Federal Minister of the Interior de Maizière visited Kabul in December 2015 and February 2016 respectively and assured the Afghan Government of Germany’s continued support.