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Australia contributes more troops to NATO’s mission

Australia contributes more troops to NATO’s mission

Jan 18, 2016 - 09:29

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, during an unannounced trip to Afghanistaninfo-icon, on Monday promised contributing 20 more troops to the NATOinfo-icon mission.

As part of the new NATO mission to train and advise Afghan security forces, 200 Australian soldiers are already stationed in the conflict-wrecked country.

"The truth is that in 2016, nowhere is a long way from anywhere. The worldinfo-icon is so connected, more than it has ever been before,” the prime minister said at the Australian embassy here.

Turnbull, who also met President Ashraf Ghani, defended his decision to enhance the number of Australian troops in Afghanistan. “It is absolutely critical that we recognise that security is a global issue."

At least 41 Australian troops have been killed over the past 12 years during security operations in Afghanistan.

Late on Sunday, Turnbull met President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdullah Abdullah. Ghani accepted his invitation to visit Australia this year.

The premier also met Australian soldiers who run Task Group Afghanistan's headquarters at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. He was briefed on the Resolute Support mission.

Speaking to Australian Defence Force members in Kabul, he said: "You are making a real difference to the evolution of Afghanistan to a point where it can stand on its own two feet and maintain its own security."

Scheduled to visit Washington for talks with President Barack Obama, he told the troops that making Afghanistan safer was critical to international security.



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