Ministry of Defence
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Statement on Afghanistan

The Secretary of State for Defence has delivered a quarterly oral statement on Afghanistan to the House of Commons.

Philip Hammond made the latest quarterly statement on Afghanistan at the House of Commons, 10 February.

The Secretary of State started his statement by paying tribute to the courage and sacrifice of the men and women of our armed forces. He also reflected on why the mission matters, and the progress made in Afghanistan through various security operations that have taken place.

Mr Hammond said:

"As the has grown in stature, so our role in Afghanistan has evolved from leading combat operations to training, advising and assisting the . And the progress of the is helping drive the pace of transition, enabling us to meet our target of reducing our military footprint in Afghanistan to 5,200. is helping drive the pace of transition, enabling us to meet our target of reducing our military footprint in Afghanistan to 5,200.. And the progress of the is helping drive the pace of transition, enabling us to meet our target of reducing our military footprint in Afghanistan to 5,200. has grown in stature, so our role in Afghanistan has evolved from leading combat operations to training, advising and assisting the . And the progress of the is helping drive the pace of transition, enabling us to meet our target of reducing our military footprint in Afghanistan to 5,200.

Our efforts have not just focused on building the necessary security apparatus. The UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team has helped deliver real progress in Helmand.

Today, 80% of the local population can access healthcare within 10 kilometres of their home. Improved security and infrastructure conditions have meant the reopening of local bazaars and the reinvigoration of the local economy. Ordinary Afghans have seen their quality of life improved significantly and we can be proud of the role we have played in making this possible."

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