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Estonia vows to continue helping Afghans

Estonia vows to continue helping Afghans

Jun 17, 2011 - 17:15

LASHKARGAH (PANinfo-icon): Estonia's Defence Minister Mart Laar has said his country would continue to cooperate with Afghanistaninfo-icon beyond 2014, when the security transition process is scheduled to be completed.

During a surprise visit to Lashkargah, the capital of southern Helmand province, on Thursday, Mart Laar met local officials, including the governor, and troops from his country.
In the evening, he met with Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal on the security transition plan and the ground situation in Helmand, where Estonia has 150 troops based in Nad Ali district.
The visiting dignitary said Afghanistan would receive increased aid from Estonia for non-military purposes, while the country would also continue to train Afghan forces beyond 2014.
After his meeting with Mart Laar, Mangal told reporters that Estonia played a key role in training the Afghan forces and had considerable contribution toward Afghanistan's development.
In Kabulinfo-icon on Thursday, British, Danish and Estonian defence ministers addressed a joint press conference, reaffirming their countries' long-term commitment to training Afghan forces beyond 2014.
The three officials on Wednesday held meetings with officials in Kabul.
British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said the United Kingdom was more interested in training Afghan forces rather than establishing permanent military bases in the country.

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