Prime Minister Ansip is visiting Afghanistan

12.12.2006 | 10:21

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Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and the Commander of the Defence Forces Ants Laaneots travelled to Afghanistan, in order to express their gratitude and support to the Estonian members of the Defence Forces serving in Afghanistan.

Meetings will also take place in Kabul, the purpose of which is to express support for the Afghan Government and encourage them to continue implementing reforms. Estonia wishes for Afghanistan to become a stable and successful country. Afghanistan is one of Estonia’s priority states for development cooperation.

Since the beginning of December, nearly 130 members of the Estonian Defence Forces are participating in the NATO led mission in Afghanistan. Serving under the command of the UK Task Force are the Estonian Light Infantry Platoon, an intelligence team, the Estonian diplomatic escort unit, and a mine-clearance team. A rear support team made up of Estonian Defence Forces logisticians will participate in the mission for the first time and the services of the Rescue Board team will continue at the Kabul International Airport (KAIA) – a logistically important airport for Estonia. The officers of the Defence Forces will also serve in the membership of different levels of the staff.

During 2006, ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operated by NATO, took over the responsibility for the entire country from a coalition led by the USA. Afghanistan became the most important foreign operation for NATO as well as Estonia, the membership of which is made up of 37 countries with more than 30 000 military personnel. In addition, there are diplomats and development officials, as it is not possible to ensure stability and security with the help of the armed forces alone.

The Prime Minister will return to Estonia late Tuesday evening.

Additional interviews and possible interviews:
Inga Jagomäe
Phone: +372 52 81 467

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