Cameron visits British troops in Afghanistan



Cameron visits British troops in Afghanistan London: British Prime Minister David Cameron paid a surprise visit to the British troops in Afghanistan Tuesday, the government said.

Cameron said the main purpose of his trip was to say "a big thank you" to British service personnel and their families and wish them a merry Christmas.

Speaking to reporters in Kandahar, Cameron repeated his commitment that the British troops will be pulled out from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but rejected any early withdrawal plan in 2013, Xinhua reported.

The trip came as the government said it was creating a cabinet committee with responsibility for the armed forces.

Cameron also discussed the role the committee would play in a new cross-government efforts to improve the welfare of British troops.

The prime minister originally planned to land in Camp Bastion - the main British base in Helmand Province - but was diverted to the NATO base in Kandahar due to a sandstorm.

Cameron met British Tornado pilots at the NATO base. This is his fourth visit to Afghanistan as British prime minister.

There are 9,500 British troops currently serving in the Asian country. The withdrawal of the British soldiers is due to start next year, while the NATO mission in the country is scheduled to complete at the end of 2014.

IANS