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Swedish FM vows to continue backing Afghanistan
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21:57, October 29, 2008

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Visiting Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Wednesday reassured that his country will continue to support Afghanistan.

"My main purpose is to come here to affirm the strong support for the government of Afghanistan," Bildt told newsmen after holding a meeting with his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

This is the first visit of Bildt to Afghanistan, during which he is going to exchange views with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghan defense minister Abdul Rahim Wardak.

His talks with Afghan leaders would focus on bilateral issues, war on terror and Sweden's role in the rebuilding process of Afghanistan.

He also assured Afghan government that Sweden would not decrease its financial and military support to the post-Taliban central Asian state by saying "I can certainly say that our support is not going to decrease."

Sweden has pledged to contribute 266 million U.S. dollars to Afghanistan and 50 million U.S. dollars out of the amount is disbursed annually to enable the war-wrecked nation revive health and education sectors.

Nearly 400 Swedish soldiers have been serving in Afghanistan within the framework of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), mostly deployed in the relatively peaceful north provinces.


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