Sweden reaffirms its commitment to Afghanistan

AP News
Posted: Apr 24, 2013 12:42 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Sweden's foreign minister says his country will maintain its long-standing support for Afghanistan by keeping about 200 soldiers in the country after most foreign troops turn over combat responsibilities to Afghan forces next year.

Carl Bildt said in Kabul on Wednesday that Sweden's commitment remains and will be even stronger in the years ahead.

Bildt spoke during a news conference with Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin.

Repeating a pledge he has made before, Bildt says Swedish soldiers remaining in Afghanistan will support and train the country's security forces.

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He says they probably will operate in northern provinces where Sweden's more than 400 soldiers currently are deployed.

But Bildt says he is still discussing with Afghan officials about what exact role the Swedish troops will play.