Thorning-Schmidt visits troops in Afghanistan

First visit to the country as PM comes on the same day four Nato soldiers are shot and killed

January 20th, 2012 2:06 pm| by admin
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PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt was flown to Afghanistan today under the cover of secrecy and heavy security to meet with Danish troops in Helmand province.

She also met with the governor of Helmand province, Golab Mangal.

“It is gratifying to see the results of the enormous contributions Danish soldiers and civilian advisers have made in Afghanistan over the years along with the international community,” Thorning-Schmidt said in a written statement.

Thorning-Schmidt admitted that there were still “many challenges in Afghanistan” but that the efforts of the Danish soldiers were praise-worthy.

“We can all be proud of the great contributions so many Danish women and men have made and continue to make. Through their dedicated way of handling their missions, they have created international recognition and respect for Denmark and for Denmark’s ability to carry its share of international responsibility.”

Thorning-SchmidtÂ’s first visit to Afghanistan as prime minister came on the same day that four French troops serving in the Nato mission were shot and killed by an Afghan solider in the eastern part of the country.

Denmark currently has some 750 troops stationed in Helmand province as part of Nato’s efforts.

In December, Villy Søvndal, the foreign minister, announced that Denmark would continue to financially support Afghanistan’s military and police following the withdrawal of Nato troops in 2014.