The German parliament voted Friday to end Germany's combat mission in Afghanistan by 2014.
For the first time, the mandate authorizing the use of German troops in Afghanistan contains a time frame for the nation's troops to withdraw, said Guido Westerwelle, the foreign minister.
The mandate includes a 12-month extension of the current military mission in Afghanistan, the German Bundestag or parliamentary news office said.
"It is confirmation of the work of the government that we're not just lengthening the mandate, but that we're saying that it shouldn't be endless," Westerwelle said.
Germany has 4,590 troops serving with NATO's International Security Assistance Force.
"The time frame for withdrawal has been internationally coordinated and developed," the foreign minister said. "That's why it's good news for the men and women of the German army who have been hoping for a bipartisan majority in the parliament."