Afghanistan — Minister for Defence visits Afghanistan

Dur­ing a three-day vis­it to Afghanistan the Min­is­ter for Defence, Sen­a­tor John Faulkn­er, has met Afghan Min­is­ter for Defence, Min­is­ter War­dak, and Afghan Min­is­ter for the Inte­ri­or, Min­is­ter Atmar, in Kab­ul to dis­cuss Australia’s train­ing mis­sion in Oruz­gan province.

The meet­ings were part of a series of vis­its to Kab­ul, Australia’s base at Tarin Kowt and Kan­da­har. He dis­cussed the progress of the sta­bil­i­sa­tion of Afghanistan with Gen­er­al Rodriguez, Com­man­der ISAF Joint Com­mand.

Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er also dis­cussed NATO efforts to resolve com­mand arrange­ments in Oruz­gan after the sched­uled depar­ture of the Dutch from August 2010.

In Tarin Kowt the Min­is­ter met with Aus­tralian Com­man­ders and mem­bers of Men­tor­ing Task Force 1 and vis­it­ed the Police Train­ing Cen­tre.

“The Afghan Nation­al Army 4th Brigade is con­tin­u­ing to make good progress under Aus­tralian and ISAF men­tor­ing,” Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er said.

“I have been delight­ed to see our impres­sive achieve­ments here first hand, both in terms of our efforts to build the capac­i­ty of Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces, and Australia’s ongo­ing involve­ment in recon­struc­tion and devel­op­ment,” he said.

Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er also met with Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force (ISAF) part­ners to dis­cuss the progress of ongo­ing oper­a­tions in the south of Afghanistan, and mem­bers of the Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross based in Afghanistan.

Before depart­ing Afghanistan, Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er vis­it­ed Australia’s Rotary Wing Group and Heron UAV recon­nais­sance detach­ment in Kan­da­har.

Aus­tralian Min­istry of Defence