Canada Defense minister visits his country’s troops in Kabul

KABUL: (MEP) – Robert Nicholson Canadian Minister of Defense completed a three-day visit to Afghanistan, during which he met with International Security Assistance Force officials and visited his country’s troops in Kabul.

“ISAF appreciates Canada’s leadership in southern Afghanistan, and now in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif, and its commitment to support Afghanistan from the very beginning in 2001,” said ISAF Commander Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr, Wakht reported.

Canada has been assisting in Afghanistan, in both Operation Enduring Freedom and the ISAF mission, since Operation Apollo in 2001.

Following a substantial increase to as many as 2,500 soldiers in its deployed force in 2007, Canada now has more than 800 troops in Afghanistan after shifting its engagement from a combat mission to training and advisory mission in 2011.

The majority of Canadian troops are based in Kabul, with a small number in Regional Command-North.

Overall, Canada has played a significant role in Afghanistan by providing personnel, technical assistance and financial aid in support of political, social and economic development.

Since 2001, Canada has spent more than $1.8 billion USD in supporting Afghanistan’s future, particularly in education, rule of law and human rights, strengthening the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on a sub-national level and delivering humanitarian assistance.

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