German lawmakers approve Afghan contingent increase

BERLIN: German lawmakers have approved a slight increase to the country's contingent in the NATO-led training force in Afghanistan.

Parliament voted 480-112 on Thursday to authorise the military's continued deployment in Afghanistan next year, with 10 abstentions. The contingent's maximum size was raised from 850 to 980.

NATO foreign ministers agreed earlier this month to keep about 12,000 troops in Afghanistan next year, roughly 7,000 US troops and 5,000 from other NATO member states and partners.

The Resolute Support mission provides advice, training and assistance to Afghan security forces.

Germany is keen to reduce the number of Afghans fleeing to Europe to seek asylum. Afghans have been one of the major groups of migrants arriving in Germany this year.

German military deployments abroad require parliamentary approval, typically on an annual basis.