UK promises aid to Afghanistan beyond 2014
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Britain on Thursday declared its unfaltering financial support to Afghan security forces beyond 2014, when all foreign troops are to leave the country, said a top British official.
UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond held out the assurance at a meeting with Helmand Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal during a surprise visit to Lashkargah late on Wednesday, a statement from the governor's office said.
Hammond was quoted as saying: “The UK will continue assisting Afghan security forces after 2014 and we promise the people of Afghanistan our long-term help."
Hammond said he would be signing a treaty with the Ministry of Defence. “The purpose of my travel to the province was to visit British soldiers and meet Governor Gulab Mangal for talks on transition and other issues."
Mangal thanked Britain for its assistance to Helmand, saying: “The UK has not only helped us in the area of security but also in the development and reconstruction sector.”
Of the more than 9,500 British soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, about 400 have lost their lives in the decade-long conflict.
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