Afghan leader praises UK troops
Afghan president Hamid Karzai has paid tribute to the efforts and sacrifice of British troops in his country, as he met Foreign Secretary William Hague ahead of a major conference in Kabul today.
Mr Hague, who will represent the UK at the international gathering in the Afghan capital, assured the president that Britain remains “a steady friend” of Afghanistan.
The Kabul Conference is expected to agree a timetable that would see full responsibility for security handed over to the Afghan forces by 2014.
Last night, Mr Karzai thanked International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell — also attending the conference — for the recent announcement of a 40% uplift in UK development aid. The additional £200m will be used to stabilise insecure areas, strengthen the economy and improve governance, Mr Mitchell said.