Further withdrawal from Afghanistan must be tied to peace talks progress: Germany

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Palestinian counterpart al-Maliki meet in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - NATO must not jeopardize the peace negotiations for Afghanistan by withdrawing troops prematurely from the war-torn country, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said ahead of a virtual meeting with his NATO colleagues.

"As NATO partners, we want to ensure that we tie further troop reductions in Afghanistan to clear conditions," he added on Tuesday.

"To safeguard what we have reached so far, we must not take any rash actions," Maas said.

"This is why we call on the alliance to have a very close look at how far the conditions for a further withdrawal have been met to avoid sending a wrong message regarding the peace process."

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; editing by Thomas Seythal)