UK extends support to NATO troops in Afghanistan

Kabul: 100 Welsh Guards were added to the NATO troops in Afghanistan during United Kingdom (UK) Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s visit in Kabul last week, UK’s Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday.

The troops are the first of the 440 additional personnel that will be deployed by the UK for the NATO forces. The addition will see the UK become the third largest contributor to troops in Afghanistan with 1,100 personnel, TOLO News reported.

“We remain absolutely committed to building an Afghanistan that is a strong security partner for decades to come. A secure and stable Afghanistan helps keep the streets of the UK safe. The uplift of UK personnel not only underlines our commitment to Afghanistan and regional security, but also to the Alliance that has been the cornerstone of our defence for 70 years,” Williamson said.

“Thousands of our personnel stand shoulder-to-shoulder with NATO allies around the world. Those here in Afghanistan are just one example of Global Britain in action. The additional troops will bolster the UK’s existing contribution to the UK-led Kabul Security Force (KSF), which plays a critical role in enabling NATO advisors in the city to undertake engagement with the Afghan government. They will also continue to mentor the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces who are responsible for security in the capital,” the Defence Secretary added.

The UK’s Defence Ministry further noted that Williamson visited Mazar-e-Sharif, where the UK and the German forces were supporting the growth of the Afghan Special Police.

Williamson also held a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, relaying the UK’s commitment towards a safe and secure Afghanistan.