Rudd visits Uruzgan; vows continued aid
TIRINKOT (PAN): Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Saturday paid a surprise visit to Tirinkot, the capital of central Uruzgan province, an official said.
Heading a delegation that included her defence minister, national security advisor and the Australian ambassador to Afghanistan, Rudd met troops during the unannounced trip to Tirinkot.
The visiting prime minister also held talks with Governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada, who briefed Rudd on the current situation in the province.
Abdullah Himmat, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News Akhundzada thanked his interlocutor on Australian development assistance over the past decade.
For her part, Rudd praised the all-round development effort in Uruzgan, particularly in the area of reconstruction. Himmat quoted her as promising continued assistance to Afghanistan, specially the central province.
Australia, having 1,500 soldiers in Afghanistan within the framework of ISAF, heads the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Uruzgan. Forty Aussie troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far.
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