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US to take over Dutch role in Afghanistan

Other News Materials 23 June 2010 10:36
The United States is to take the lead role in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan when the Dutch withdraw in August, Australian Defence Minister John Faulkner said Wednesday.
US to take over Dutch role in Afghanistan

The United States is to take the lead role in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan when the Dutch withdraw in August, Australian Defence Minister John Faulkner said Wednesday, DPA reported.

Australia joined the US in helping oust the Taliban administration in 2001 and has 1,550 troops in Uruzgan.

Faulkner said Australia would send no new troops and there was no "precise timetable" for a withdrawal.

"Our resolve in Afghanistan remains unchanged," Faulkner told reporters in Canberra.

Australia has relied on logistical support from the 1,880-strong Dutch force in Oruzgan and had come under pressure to replace the Dutch in a leadership role.

The new command is to be called Combined Team Oruzsgan, but Faulkner made it plain that the US would be in charge.

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