Breaking News
Nagaland Post Logo
You are here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome » Show story
Gordon Brown meets troops in Afghanistan
Kandahar, Dec 13 (Agencies):
Published on 13 Dec. 2009 11:04 PM IST
Print  Text Size

Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, is meeting troops in Afghanistan on a surprise pre-Christmas visit. The Prime Minister bedded down in forces accommodation in Afghanistan on Saturday night as he sought to demonstrate his commitment to supporting British troops serving in the country. Mr Brown slept in what aides described as basic dormitory style rooms at Kandahar Airfield, the coalition headquarters for the region. Gordon Brown tells US President to target global trade dealIt was the first time a British premier had stayed overnight in either Afghanistan or Iraq, and came at the start of a surprise pre-Christmas visit to the troops. Mr Brown said: "I wanted to be here with the troops to thank them for what they are doing. "I wanted to see what it was like working with them." Previously Mr Brown - and Tony Blair before him - would typically fly in an out of Afghanistan in a single day, often staying in top hotels in nearby countries. Mr Brown stayed last night in a pre-fabricated, corrugated shed, surrounded by concrete blast walls. There was a nearby concrete shelter for him to repair to in the event of a rocket attack on the camp. Attacks are currently running at one or two per week from Taliban in the surrounding area. Mr Brown was briefed late Saturday night and earlier this morning by senior military staff in Kandahar as well as meeting regular troops and inspecting new equipment purchased for them in recent months. He later met Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who flew into Kandahar especially for talks. The PM said the next few months would be "critical" and urged the Afghan government to take a bigger role in taking on the Taliban. Last week saw the 100th British soldier killed in Afghanistan this year, prompting further controversy and debate over Britain's role in the country. This year has been the bloodiest for British forces since the Falklands War in 1982. Mr Brown said he was "more confident" about the conflict following recent additions of equipment and the increases in troop numbers announced by himself and US President Barack Obama. He paid tribute to the troops' "bravery, professionalism and dedication". "I know this has been a difficult year," he said, acknowledging that casualties have been "high". But he maintained that morale among the troops was good. About 1,500 improvised explosive devices have been detected and dismantled in the past six months, the PM added, as efforts have been stepped up to counter the threat. He went on: "I think the next few months are obviously critical. We need to show there support for our forces back in Britain, which I know there is, and a determination to take on the Taliban."

Comments:(0) Login or Register to post your Comment
(Available for registered users only)
More News
  • 1
  • 2