Visit to Afghanistan

20 January 2011

Nine members of the House of Commons Defence Committee visited Afghanistan from 17 to 21 January, led by Chairman The Rt. Hon. James Arbuthnot MP. Their itinerary included a visit to several places in Helmand Province, including Camp Bastion, Lashkar Gah, and the Forward Operating Base in Nad ‘Ali and an extensive programme of calls in Kabul

In Kabul, the Committee called on a range of senior Afghan and international interlocutors, including President Karzai and Defence Minister Wardak. The Committee was able to discuss with the Afghan Government and Afghan civil society its support for the UK’s continuing commitment to Afghanistan, including a long-term partnership beyond 2014 between two sovereign nations based on shared interests and values and mutual respect.

The Committee was briefed by ISAF HQ, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, the UN and others on the military campaign, including progress towards transition to Afghan leadership on security, the growing sense of momentum behind reintegration of former insurgents and the further development of Afghanistan.

In Helmand, the Committee was able to pay tribute to the dedication and sacrifice of Afghan, British and Coalition soldiers and civilians working to bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan and to prevent the re-emergence of an international terrorist threat. The Committee was struck by the progress in security, governance and provision of government services since their last visit to Afghanistan in January 2010.

Kabul, 20 January 2011

Further information:

The Committee’s visit forms part of its current inquiry into Operations in Afghanistan. As part of the inquiry the Committee has taken evidence from the Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for Defence, senior UK Government officials, serving and former UK military personnel, and academics.

Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP (Conservative, North East Hampshire) (Chair), Mr Julian Brazier MP, (Conservative, Canterbury), Thomas Docherty MP (Labour, Dunfermline and West Fife), Rt Hon Jeffrey M. Donaldson MP (Democratic Unionist, Lagan Valley), John Glen MP (Conservative, Salisbury), Mr Mike Hancock MP (Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South), Mr Dai Havard MP (Labour, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney), Mrs Madeleine Moon MP (Labour, Bridgend), Penny Mordaunt MP (Conservative, Portsmouth North), Sandra Osborne MP (Labour, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock), Bob Stewart MP (Conservative, Beckenham), Ms Gisela Stuart MP (Labour, Birmingham, Edgbaston)

Specific Committee Information: 020 7219 5745

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson 020 7219 1589 / 07917 488 488

Visit Committee Website

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