BERLIN, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Germany plans to cut the number of its troops in Afghanistan from 4,760 to 3,300 by the end of February 2014, top government officials said Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters that Germany is gradually reducing its forces in Afghanistan. Germany has planned to bring all combat soldiers home by the end of 2014, when Afghan forces are scheduled to take full responsibility for national security.
Local media reported that the proposal is expected to be passed in the parliament swiftly.
Westerwelle said Germany would continue to provide Afghanistan with long-term non-military assistance after a total withdrawal of combat troops.
Germany has already started the phase-out of troops in Afghanistan, where as many as 5,350 German troops were stationed during the peak period a year ago.
The number of German soldiers ranks the third in the about 100,000 NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) after the United States and Britain.