Denmark to withdraw Afghanistan troops before 2015: PM

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Denmark hopes to withdraw all its combat troops from Afghanistan by 2015, Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said on Thursday following talks with his British counterpart.

After Prime Minister David Cameron reiterated his intention to withdraw all British troops from combat roles in Afghanistan by 2015, Rasmussen said he hoped Danish troops could pull back from frontline duties before then.

"I also share the vision or the wish that we'll have withdrawn the troops, in the sense of not having large numbers of combatting troops in Afghanistan, in 2014 or 2015.

"I even hope we can withdraw troops before that," he told a press conference. "It's not a promise but something I wish."

Denmark has 750 troops in Afghanistan serving in the NATO-led ISAF force, mainly in the violence-torn Helmand province, and proportionally has suffered the heaviest losses of any ISAF nation with 34 combat deaths while two more soliders were killed in other circumstances.

© 2010 AFP

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