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