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Published: 2 october 2012 11:58

Lithuanian Defense Minister arrives in Afghanistan

Spaudos konferencija, skirta Lietuvos pajėgų išvedimui iš Afganistano
Alfredo Pliadžio nuotr. / Rasa Juknevičienė, Minister of Defense

Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Rasa Juknevičienė paid a visit to Afghanistan where several hundred Lithuanian troops are deployed.

A delegation led by the minister landed in Kabul on Tuesday morning. The visit was not pre-announced due to security reasons.

Juknevičienė is scheduled to meet with Afghanistan's Minister of Finance Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Governor of Ghor Province Sayed Anwar Rahmati as well as high-ranking NATO and US military, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement.

"The meetings will focus on the plans to hand over the base of the Lithuanian-led provincial Reconstruction Team in Ghor to Afghanistan institutions, inform about Lithuania's plans to hand over responsibility for the country's security to local security forces and finish activities of the Ghor PRT by late 2013," the ministry said in the statement.

It has been announced recently that a draft resolution on the withdrawal of Lithuanian troops from Afghanistan's Ghor province and closure of the Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team by 2013 would be soon presented to the Lithuanian government.

But following the withdrawal from Ghor, Lithuanian special operations forces, the Air Force advisory group, troops from the National Support Element (logistics) and several military officers from the Joint Headquarters will remain.

Lithuania has led the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Ghor since 2005. Around 260 Lithuanian troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan. Usually around 150 Lithuanian troops serve in Ghor.

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