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UK Prime Minister visits Helmand

UK Prime Minister visits Helmand

Jul 05, 2011 - 13:51

LASHKARGAH (PANinfo-icon): British Prime Minister David Cameron visited southern Helmand province during his unannounced trip to Afghanistaninfo-icon, officials said on Tuesday.

Former NATOinfo-icon Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Mark Sedwill and other officials accompanied Cameron during his visit with British forces and local officials, governor Gulab Mangal told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The UK will continue its assistance to Afghanistan until it is stable and economically independent, Cameron told reporters after visiting British troops in Shurab area of the province.

He said the UK mission in Afghanistan was entering a new stage and that the UK would withdraw 500-800 soldiers from the country.

He added that besides training Afghan forces the UK has launched numerous reconstructioninfo-icon projects in Helmand.

He also said that Afghan security forces have seen improvements in both numbers and quality over the past three years as they begin to take responsibility during the security transition period.

Cameron insisted the UK would continue its assistance to Afghanistan even after 2014 and would establish checkpoints along the border with Pakistaninfo-icon, Mangal said.

Nearly 10,000 UK soldiers are stationed in Helmand. Since 2001, 373 UK soldiers have been killed in the war in Afghanistan.



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