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Denmark to begin pulling troops from Afghanistan

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 14:18

Copenhagen: Denmark`s political parties
backed a government plan to gradually pull out Danish troops
from Afghanistan starting this summer through the end of 2014
and hand over responsibility to Afghan forces.

Most political parties, except far-left groups, backed
the plan yesterday which will withdraw 30 soldiers this summer
from its 750-strong contingent in Helmand province and reduce
to 650 soldiers by late 2012, according to an copy of the

Denmark will hand over its military bases in the
dangerous Patrol Base Line located in the "green zone" in
Helmand province in southern Afghanistan to local security
forces around August, it said.

"Our goal is to make Afghanistan assume responsibility
of its own security towards the end of 2014," Foreign Minister
Lene Espersen told journalists following a meeting with the
political parties.

The widely anticipated plan was in line with the
Scandinavian country`s exit strategy put forward last year
that will see troops leave the war-torn country before 2015.

But Denmark will increase investments in training
Afghan police forces, and boost development aid by some 100
million Danish krona (13 million euros, USD 18 million) by
2013, bringing annual aid to 500 million krona per year.

Danish troops suffered the heaviest losses
proportionally among participating nations of the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the NATO-led
mission in Afghanistan, with 40 deaths.


First Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 14:18
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