Foreign Minister visits troops in Kunduz

6th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has visited the police training mission in the Afghan province Kunduz. It was the first time that a minister had visited the Dutch camp. Earlier in the week attempts to visit the camp were aborted due to security reasons and a broken down plane. The minister spoke at length to dozens of soldiers and police officers: “I have come in the first place to show my support for your mission.” He told the troops that they would not become involved in offensive military operations. He also came to “taste the atmosphere and to see how things were going.”

The Dutch troops in Kunduz will only be allowed to use force to protect themselves and others. The police officers they train will not be allowed to go into combat against the Taliban. Security for the Dutch contingent is in the hands of the German forces in the province. The Dutch foreign minister therefore also spoke to the German commander Norbert Sabrautzki.

There are between 80 to 100 Dutch personnel currently in Kunduz. Tomorrow, another 150 troops and police trainers are due to travel out to Kunduz to join the mission. In total, 545 Dutch troops and police will support the mission, some of them will be based in Mazar-e-Sharif, where F16s will be stationed and others will be based in the capital Kabul.  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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