Angela Merkel
The German Chancellor Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday said her country will provide Afghanistan with 150 million euros annually to support its security forces. The funding will start in 2015, the year after NATO-led forces are scheduled to leave the country.

Merkel made the announcement after signing a long-term bilateral agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Berlin. The deal came ahead of a NATO summit on Afghanistan in Chicago on May 20-21.

Merkel said the agreement shows that her country is committed to Afghanistan in the long term.

Afghanistan's fate is close to our heart, Merkel said, as quoted by

The agreement stated that there will be military training of members of the Afghan armed forces in Bundeswehr facilities (Bundeswehr is the unified armed forces of Germany and its civil administration authorities).

Afghanistan will also get support for the development of the Afghan National Police.

We hope it will help us to train security forces and to have a better and stronger Afghanistan, Karzai told the media.

Germany has the third largest military contingent serving in the NATO force in Afghanistan, according to Reuters, after the United States and Britain. Germany has about 4,900 soldiers in Afghanistan -- about 500 are set to withdraw from the country 2013, according to

The deal between Germany and Afghanistan also has the two countries partnering on education, economy and on civil aviation.

Read the full partnership agreement between Germany and Afghanistan.