Dutch minister admits Afghan mission set-back

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Dutch Defence Minister Hans Hillen has acknowledged the police training mission in the Afghan province of Kunduz has not worked out as planned. In a letter to the house on Tuesday, he wrote that the period of Dutch inactivity has passed. 

Minister Hillen said that materials for the Dutch police force was sent by air several times, but partly due to defects within the unit, overnight flight permits were not received on time. He maintains these problems have now been virtually eliminated. Minister Hillen also promised to send 20 interpreters to the region that, according to him, will be needed until January 2012.

On Sunday, Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported that soldiers in Kunduz lack essential equipment and adequate translators. Minister Hillen expressed concern that soldiers engaged in a mission have sought contact with the media. “Opponents also listen and watch them,” he warned. 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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