Cabinet wants troops to stay in Uruzgan

The cabinet has the ‘intention’ to keep Dutch troops in Afghanistan past the current August 2008 deadline, defence minister Eimert Middelkoop said on Friday evening.

A definitive decision has yet to be taken but ‘the direction is obvious’, Middelkoop said. The Netherlands has some 1,900 soldiers in southern Afghanistan serving as part of the NATO forces.
However, said Middelkoop, other countries must be prepared to take over from the Netherlands and Dutch efforts could not continue in their present form. A final decision is expected later this summer.

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