Dutch Afghanistan command upped to a year

The Netherlands and Britain will stay in control in southern Afghanistan for a full year when they take over Nato command, rather than the nine months earlier agreed, news agency AP reported on Wednesday.

The European allies agreed to the new arrangement in conversations with US defence secretary Robert Gates, the agency said.
‘By the command serving longer, there will be greater stability and continuity to our operations,’ Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told AP.
Under the new agreement, Dutch will assume command from the Canadians in November this year. In November 2009, the British will take over.
The Netherlands, which has some 1,700 troops in the region, earlier agreed to extend its role in the Nato mission to August 2010.

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