Friday, June 25, 2010

VIDEO: Afghanistan: PM Wants Troops Out By 2015

Sky News report

David Cameron has told Sky News that he wants British troops out of Afghanistan within five years.

He is in Canada for his first G8 summit, where he is meeting other world leaders including President Barack Obama to discuss issues such as the economic crisis, the BP oil spill and Afghanistan.

It has been a particularly bloody month for British troops in the war-hit country.

The deaths of four soldiers in a vehicle accident earlier in the week meant the total number of UK fatalities this month stands at 18, the worst since last August.

The most killed in a month came last July when 22 died when the Panther’s Claw operation was under way.

The total number of British dead in Afghanistan now stands at 307 since 2001.

Asked by Sky's political editor Adam Boulton whether the 10,000-strong deployment would be home by the next general election - scheduled for 2015 - the Prime Minister said: "I want that to happen.

"We cannot be there for another five years having effectively been there for nine years already.

"But Britain should have a long-term relationship with Afghanistan, including helping to train their troops and their civil society long after the vast bulk of (our) troops have gone."

Mr Obama has set out a timetable under which the "surge" of US troops ordered last year would lead to withdrawals from the middle of 2011.

But Mr Cameron has so far refused to commit himself to any deadline for British troops to come home, saying only that he does not believe they should stay a day longer than is necessary.

Discussing Mr Obama's preference for beginning a drawdown around July next year, Mr Cameron said: "I prefer not to see it in strict timetables.

"I want us to roll up our sleeves and get on with delivering what will bring the success we want."

He said this would not be "a perfect Afghanistan, but some stability in Afghanistan and the ability for the Afghans themselves to run their country so they can come home."

No comments:

Post a Comment