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Asia-Pacific

British PM says no more troops to Afghanistan

media British PM David Cameron with British Ambassador Sir William Patey on arrival … Reuters

British Prime Minister David Cameron made his first official visit to Afghanistan on Thursday. He said the UK will send no more troops to the country but hailed 2010 as a vital year in efforts to fight Taliban insurgents.

Afghanistan is “the most important foreign policy issue, the most important national security issue for my country,” Cameron said.

 He announced an additional 67 million pounds (83 million euros) for British forces to counter the threat from improvised bombs, which are the biggest killer of Western soldiers in Afghanistan. He also wants to double the number of bomb disposal experts. 

But, faced with pressure at home to bring troops home, he ruled out sending more.

“The issue of more troops is not remotely on the UK agenda,” he says during the news conference. 

Britain has sent 9,500 troops to Afghanistan since the beginning of the war against the Taliban. It is the second biggest contributor to the Nato mission after the United States. A total of 294 British people have died in Afghanistan since October 2001.
 

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