German foreign ministry sees no change in commitment to Afghan mission after attack

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (3rdR)) leads a meeting of the foreign ministry's crisis centre in Berlin, Germany on November 11, 2016, after Taliban militants stormed the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif. REUTERS/Maurizio Gambarini/POOL

BERLIN (Reuters) - A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry on Friday said he did not believe Thurday’s attack on the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif would alter Germany’s view about the need for continued aid to Afghanistan.

“I cannot imagine that the events of last night will lead to a fundamental change in Germany’s thinking or that of the global community on the need for continued assistance for Afghanistan,” spokesman Martin Schaefer told a regular news conference.

He said work by Germany and other countries had helped improve the lives of Afghans over the past years, helping to alleviate the conditions that had made it a breeding ground for terrorism in the past.

Schaefer said a crisis task force had met late Thursday and again Friday to assess the situation after the attack, including the future of Germany’s work in Afghanistan, and would review security procedures to avert similar attacks in the future.

Consulate staff had been moved to the headquarters of the German military on the edge of the city and were already able to continue their work there, he said.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal