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British defence minister on Afghan visit calls for troop withdrawal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 23, 2010

KABUL : Senior British officials, including new Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in Afghanistan Saturday with a warning that Britain wants to withdraw its troops as soon as possible.

Hague, Defence Secretary Liam Fox and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell are set to meet President Hamid Karzai in their first visit to the country since a new coalition government took power in London this month.

Hague described Afghanistan — where around 10,000 British troops are helping fight a Taliban-led insurgency well into its ninth year — as “our most urgent priority” in comments released from London as the party touched down.

In an interview with The Times newspaper before arriving in Kabul, Fox made clear the visit would focus on speeding up the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan, and that no new troops would be deployed. Read the rest of this entry »

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