BERLIN: Germany is to maintain its military presence in northern Afghanistan in 2016 in cooperation with its NATO partners, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

"We have agreed - and this is very good news - that we are going to go ahead with our contribution in the mission of strengthening the security architecture in Afghanistan. That is a very good result because there is still a lot to do. We want to go on with the mission "Resolute Support" in 2016. That means that we want to secure the progress that has already been made and also facilitate further steps forward," von der Leyen told reporters in Berlin after a meeting with military experts from the 20 other countries with troops stationed in northern Afghanistan as part of NATO's "Resolute Support" mission.

Although NATO has withdrawn almost all of its combat troops from Afghanistan, it still has soldiers stationed there to train local forces. Up to about 850 German troops are in Afghanistan on this mission.

The German government said last week it will send 130 more soldiers to support Afghan forces struggling to tackle insurgency.