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Dec 18, 12:51 PM EST

Parliament OKs German soldiers for Afghan mission

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Parliament OKs German soldiers for Afghan mission

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BERLIN (AP) -- Lawmakers have given the go-ahead for Germany to contribute up to 850 soldiers to the NATO-organized training and advisory mission in Afghanistan that will start work next month.

The lower house of Parliament voted 473-102 on Thursday to support the deployment, with 18 abstentions, the news agency dpa reported. German military missions abroad require parliamentary approval.

Germany has been a major troop contributor in Afghanistan's comparatively calm north over the past decade and will continue to be responsible for that region in the new mission, called Resolute Support.

Germany currently has 1,183 soldiers in Afghanistan as part of the security mission that is now coming to an end, a figure that is down from more than 5,000 at its peak.

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