UK says won’t abandon Afghan interpreters
WASHINGTON (PAN): Britain promised on Thursday it would not abandon Afghan interpreters with its military but the Afghan government would like to see as many of these people as possible making their future in their country.
“We are all clear that we will not abandon those who have served us in Afghanistan,” British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said at a Pentagon news conference after his meeting with his US counterpart Chuck Hagel.
He added: “We are also clear that, to the extent that these are people who have an important contribution to make to the future of Afghanistan, educated people, by definition, English-speaking people, it is our wish, if we can, to construct an offer to them which attracts them to stay in Afghanistan and be part of Afghanistan's future.”
Hammond said it was also clearly the wish of the Afghan government to see as many of them as possible making their future within Afghanistan.
There are about 600 Afghan interpreters working for the British forces in Afghanistan. Most UK troops are stationed in the southern Helmand province, fighting the insurgents and helping with reconstruction work.
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