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Germany to decide on next step in Afghan drawdown

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Germany's defense minister says Berlin will decide next week on the next step in the drawdown of the country's forces from Afghanistan.

Thomas de Maiziere said Monday that the withdrawal would be conducted in a way that was "responsible and reliable for all our partners."

Speaking at a joint press conference on Monday with his Afghan counterpart Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, de Maiziere Germany would also coordinate with its NATO partners and the Afghan side on what kind of military equipment to leave behind for Afghan government forces.

Germany currently has 4,760 troops in Afghanistan as part of the U.S.-led NATO coalition. The plan is to gradually draw them down in keeping with NATO's plan to pull out all combat forces by the end of 2014.

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