Dutch soldiers leave for Kunduz

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More than 160 Dutch soldiers are leaving for the Afghan province of Kunduz on Thursday afternoon to take part in a NATO police training mission.

Prior to their departure from the Eindhoven air force base, the troops will be addressed by Defence Minister Hans Hillen. The Dutch soldiers and police officers who have been in Kunduz since early this year to make preparations for the training mission were visited by Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal on Wednesday.

Early this year, a majority in parliament voted in favour of the training mission after a number of conditions of the Green Left party and the Christian Union were met. The two parties wanted guarantees regarding the quality of the training and the job descriptions of the Afghan police officers. And the Afghan government has promised that the officers will not be deployed to fight insurgents.

Under the agreed rules of engagement, the Dutch troops will only use force to defend themselves or others.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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