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Armed forces head visits Afghanistan

Dec 12, 2013
From wire reports, RIGA

Latvian National Armed Forces Commander Raimonds Graube arrived in Afghanistan on Dec. 11 where he will meet with NATO commanders to discuss Latvia's contribution to the Afghanistan mission after 2014

Latvian troops are set to draw out of the country whilkst responsibility for the country's security will have been handed over to the Afghan government.

Graube has already met with representatives from the NATO International Security Assistance Force headquarters to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and challenges likely to be encountered after the presidential elections in the country and after Afghan security forces take control over the situation in the country, reports LETA.

During the visit, Graube will also meet with Regional Command North commanders and the head of the Norwegian contingent, as well as leaders of the Nordic and Baltic special operations units.

Graube will visit the Mazar-i-Sharif region to lay flowers at a memorial to soldiers fallen in Northern Afghanistan.

The head of the armed forces is accompanied by Infantry Brigade Commander Martins Liberts, Defense Ministry's Parliamentary Secretary Veiko Spolitis and other Armed Forces officials. The Latvian delegation will also meet with Latvian contingent in Afghanistan to congratulate the soldiers on Christmas and New Year, and treat them to homemade gingerbread cookies from Latvia.

Most Latvian troops in Afghanistan are stationed in Mazar-i-Sharif together with soldiers from Sweden, Norway and Finland. Latvian soldiers have also been stationed in Kandahar and Kabul to train Afghan soldiers and police.
As reported, a Saeima majority voted on October 17 to extend the participation of Latvian Armed Forces in the mission in Afghanistan to December 31, 2014. At the moment, there are more than 150 Latvian soldiers in Afghanistan.

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