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Prime Minister visits Afghanistan

Wednesday 18 July 2012

PM: "I'm confident we can bring the British troops home as I promised by the end of 2014"

David Cameron today arrived in Helmand Province for a tour of Camp Bastion, the UK’s largest Afghan base. Mr Cameron visited frontline troops from the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment at the Shawqat base in Nad-e-Ali and saw a provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gah.

Asked about major reductions in troop numbers, the Prime Minister said it had been a difficult decision to make but insisted the coalition needed a defence budget which made sense.

 Discussing the withdrawal of British troops, Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“What I will commit to is that we will do this in a sensible, ordered, practical way – 9,500 to 9,000 this year. As Afghan troops take a bigger role we will be able to reduce troop numbers further next year.

“I don’t want to see some cliff edge. I’m confident we are going to have a staged reduction and deliver a safe and secure situation.”

 He added:

“I’m very pleased to be here because I want to thank our Armed Forces for all the incredible work that they do.”