UK, UAE foreign ministers vow enduring assistance in Afghanistan visit
KABUL (PAN): British Foreign Secretary William Hague and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Sultan Al Nahyan arrived Tuesday in Kabul to discuss security and to promise that both countries will maintain a strong continuing relationship with Afghanistan.
Shortly after their arrival the two held a joint press conference in Kabul with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasul.
England will not keep soldiers in Afghanistan once the security transition concludes. Hague stressed however that the UK will continue to assist Afghanistan to root out corruption and establish good governance.
With about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, the UK is the second-largest troop contributor, after the United States, to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Most of the British forces are concentrated in Helmand province, where ISAF has taken its highest number of casualties.
The UAE foreign minister emphasized his own country’s continuing commitment to Afghanistan and said the UAE supported the government’s reconciliation process. He said he was proud of the UAE’s contribution to ISAF and promised to persuade other Islamic countries to offer support.
The UAE contributes 35 troops to ISAF.
Afghan Foreign Minister Rasul told reporters that he had spoken with his counterparts about the security transition as well as the peace process.
The two foreign ministers also visited southern Helmand province. They met with Helmand Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal and visited their soldiers.
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