Uruzgan PRT formally closed after 9 years
Local authorities acknowledged the PRT role in Uruzgan’s development and reconstruction, particularly in building roads, bridges, schools and health clinics.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Defence Minister David Johnston, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Afghan Interior Minister Omar Daudzai and Chief of Army Staff Sher Mohammad Karimi attended a ceremony marking the PRT closure.
Ambassadors of Australia, Holland and the United States, as well as local and foreign military officials were also present on the occasion.
Governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada praised Australia’s contribution to Uruzgan’s development, saying Afghan forces were capable of maintaining security in the province. He urged the Australian government to continue supporting Uruzgan.
Omar Daudzai also believed Afghan security personnel were prepared to defend their homeland. The minister paid tribute to the Australian troops killed in Afghanistan and expressed his condolences to their families.
The visiting premier thanked the Uruzgan government and people for cooperating with Aussie defence personnel over the past nine years. He explained the PRT closure did not signal an end to Australian assistance to Afghanistan.
The Uruzgan PRT was a unique team made up of individuals from the US Army, US Navy, Australian Army and civilians. It helped build the capacity of the local administration, especially on delivery of essential services.
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