PM Mark Rutte visits Kunduz mission

15th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has paid his first visit to the police training mission in the Afghan province of Kunduz. He wanted to see with his own eyes how the mission is coming along and personally address some motivational words to the troops taking part in the mission

Speaking in the Dutch bar in Camp Kunduz, Mr Rutte told the soldiers that there would always be debate about military missions. However, the prime minister said, there was no doubt that parliament and the Dutch population support their efforts for the full 100 percent.  Mr Rutte said during his lightning visit.

The prime minister had the same message for the Dutch troops in Mazar-e-Sharif, where four Dutch F-16 fighter jets supporting the mission are based. Many of the troops had their pictures taken with the prime minister, who was casually dressed in jeans and a blue sweater.

Most of the soldiers only learned at the last possible moment that the prime minister was going to pay them a visit. The arrival of armed forces commander General Peter van Uhm, who was accompanying the prime minister, had been announced beforehand.  Mr Rutte said, an ‘order’ that was immediately followed by the troops.

The prime minister also told them that it is important the Afghans take responsibility for the government and security of their own country.

Mr Rutte was initially scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. However, the meeting was cancelled because Kunduz airport was closed for several hours due to persistent fog.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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