PM Cameron arrives in Afghanistan to meet unity government
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[October 03, 2014]
KABUL (Reuters) - British Prime
Minister David Cameron made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on
Friday to meet with the new unity government, the first major Western
leader to visit since an election crisis was resolved, easing threats of
Cameron's visit comes four days after new President Ashraf Ghani
was sworn into office after months of political turmoil following a
Cameron said he was looking forward to working in future with Ghani
and with new Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.
"We all share a common goal, which is a more secure, stable and
prosperous Afghanistan," Cameron told a news conference with Ghani.
"We want an Afghanistan that is no longer a safe haven for
terrorists or a threat to the security of either of our countries,
and today we’ve discussed how together we can achieve those goals,"
The prolonged standoff over the June runoff vote between Ghani and
rival Abdullah raised fears of new instability ahead of the
withdrawal of most foreign troops. The crisis ended with a political
deal that made Ghani president and saw Abdullah appointed to a chief
executive's position with broad powers.
Behind the United States, Britain has been the second-largest
contributor to the international military coalition that has been in
Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led intervention to topple the
Taliban's radical Islamist regime in the wake of the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks on the United States.
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More than 450 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan during
the subsequent war against the Taliban insurgency and its militant
Most British troops will withdraw at the end of this year, as the
coalition's combat mission ends and Afghanistan's newly trained
security forces take over the fight against the Taliban.
(Reporting by Kay Johnson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Michael
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