"This is a country in need on many issues – economic development is necessary, investments are needed...countries from the region especially India which is seen as a friend to Afghanistan...people from Afghanistan appreciate India and its solidarity..." German Ambassador to India Micheal Steiner said on the sidelines of an event.

To a question, he said India, Germany, Afghanistan and the international community have agreed that the war-torn country still needs military presence but a different one from what it has witnessed in the past.

"Afghanistan will still need a military presence but a different one from the past...it will be a training mission, it will not be a combat mission. For that, we have trained the soldiers and the police so that they take over this job," he said.

Answering question why the UN peace keeping forces are not being deployed in Afghanistan, the Ambassador said it was important first to have an agreement regarding presence of foreign troops there.

"I think what is important is that we have an agreement. It's also important to have a UN umbrella. Surely, for  Germany that is necessary so that we do this on the basis of a consensus", he added.

India will host two important international meets on Afghanistan this week, which will see more than 50 countries discussing key issues, including the security situation in the country.

The International Contact Group on Afghanistan-Pakistan (ICG) is scheduled to be held on Thursday. ICG, which is convened by Germany, is the main forum for political coordination with respect to international efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.


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