Merkel: 'We have not been able to build a nation' in Afghanistan

Merkel: 'We have not been able to build a nation' in Afghanistan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that the US-led coalition that also includes Germany cannot build a country in Afghanistan after 20 years of war.

UMMATIMES - Merkel's remarks came at a joint press conference with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan is expected to be completed by the end of August. The process has reached 95 percent, US military officials said earlier this week.

"Over the years, we have provided mutual assistance in Afghanistan. We have been able to withstand, to some degree, the terrorist danger, but unfortunately we have not been able to build a country as we would like," Merkel said.

Germany has a "good partnership" with the United States, and there are "very good contacts" between German and US forces, Merkel added.

With the US withdrawal nearing completion, Berlin pulled out the last remaining troops in Afghanistan late last month after nearly two decades of operation, ending the deadliest military operation since World War II.

Berlin has the second largest troop contingent in Afghanistan after the US, with about 160,000 troops reportedly deployed over the past two decades.

A total of 59 German soldiers died in Afghanistan, including 35 in combat operations. The military mission in Afghanistan cost German taxpayers around €12.5 billion ($14.8 billion).

On Wednesday, Germany voiced strong support for the Afghan government, which is at war with the Taliban insurgents, as the insurgents control more territory in Afghanistan.

“We remain steadfast on the side of the Afghan government. We agree with the international community that we support the [Afghan] government and the president," said Rainer Breul, spokesman for Germany's Foreign Ministry, at a weekly news conference in Berlin.