Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has thanked UK troops working towards a more peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan during a visit to Kabul yesterday.
Visiting 10 months after the draw down from UK combat operations, Mr Fallon also reaffirmed our long-term commitment to Afghanistan through the NATO Resolute Support mission. Almost 500 British service personnel are currently deployed in Afghanistan, assisting with a range of tasks including mentoring, counter terrorism and force protection.
During his visit, Mr Fallon received an update on British military mentors helping to develop the next generation of army officers at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA). The first 249 graduated from the ANAOA in 2014 and the first female Afghan cadets successfully completed their training in June; a landmark event for the country’s National Army. And he saw the UK mentored Afghan security force in action, performing a complex training operation.
Speaking from Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
The UK can be proud of what has been achieved here. The terrorist threat in Afghanistan and also back home in the UK has been significantly reduced. People of both nations are safer thanks to the work of our service men and women.
The Afghans are now determining their own future and leading security across their country. With our continued support, there is a real opportunity to cement this progress and secure a better future for Afghanistan.
Mr Fallon also met Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, acting Minister of Defence Masoom Stanekzai, Minister of the Interior Nur ul-Haq Ulumi and National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar. The Defence Secretary assured them of the UK’s unwavering commitment to helping them build a stable and successful future for their country. He urged them to press on with implementing their plans for political and economic reform. And he underlined Britain’s full backing for the peace process they have initiated with moderate taliban to end internal conflict.