Minister of Defence Nick Hækkerup recently concluded a visit to Afghanistan, where he met with the Danish forces in the Helmand and Kandahar provinces in the south as well as Mazar-e Sharif in the north.

Nick Hækkerup says:

“I am particularly proud of the giant effort made by our Danish soldiers within a wide variety of assignments, ranging from training of Afghan security forces and support of our Afghan and allied colleagues in their effort against insurgents on the ground in the south to air surveillance in the north.”

In Kabul, the Minister of Defence also met with a number of key players, including the Afghan Minister of Defence, Abdul Rahim Wardak, and ISAF commander, general John Allen.

During his visit, Nick Hækkerup also had the opportunity to discuss progress and challenges with the Danish soldiers.

“There should be no doubt, that it is a tough job in Afghanistan. We do experience setbacks. And they will also occur after 2014, when the Afghans assume the lead in security responsibility across their country. But things are moving in the right direction stop by step. It is now obvious that our training effort matters. The Afghan security forces make positive progress, which is the precondition for the international security forces to gradually step back into a supporting role,” Hækkerup says.

In total some 720 Danish soldiers are currently deployed in Afghanistan, out of which some 600 are stationed in the Helmand province.