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Hammond renews UK’s Afghan commitment

Hammond renews UK’s Afghan commitment

Mar 29, 2012 - 20:20

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): UK Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond, at a meeting with President Hamid Karzai, on Thursday renewed his country’s commitment to supporting Afghanistaninfo-icon beyond 2014.

Based on a strategic cooperation agreement between Afghanistan and the UK, the British government would not leave the country alone after 2014, when foreign troops are to complete their withdrawal, the Presidential Palace said.

The British government has been trying to win financial support for Afghan forces, a statement from the palace quoted Hammond as saying. Financial support for Afghan forces would be mustered prior to the Chicago conference in May, he said.

"The security situation has considerably improved in Helmand, where the process of transition is going in the right direction and the British government supports the process," Hammond said.

Karzai thanked the UK for its support to Afghanistan and urged continued assistance, the statement said. Britain has 9,500 soldiers mostly deployed to Helmand province. So far 407 of the troops have been killed since in 2001.


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