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Australian PM Visits Afghanistan

  • RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

KABUL -- Australia's prime minister has arrived in southern Afghanistan on an unannounced visit.

Kevin Rudd arrived on July 27 accompanied by Defense Ministry officials, his national security adviser, and the Australian ambassador to Kabul.

Rudd met the governor of the southern Oruzgan Province, Amir Muhammad Akhundzada.

Rudd said Australia was committed to continuing to help the Afghan government after the planned withdrawal of its troops by the end of 2014.

Australia has around 1,600 troops in Afghanistan, most of them based in Oruzgan Province.

The provincial governor praised the help Australia has provided to Afghanistan over the last decade.

The visit is Rudd's first to Afghanistan since he became prime minister at the end of June.