Boris Johnson Announces End To 20 Year UK Military Mission In Afghanistan
Boris Johnson confirmed remaining UK troops would be "coming home" from Afghanistan
The Prime Minister said all remaining British troops in the country would be "coming home" as he confirmed the end of the UK's role in the conflict.
The PM insisted the UK would not "turn away" from the country despite confirming that most British military personnel had already been pulled out.
Speaking to MPs on Thursday, Johnson paid tribute to the 457 British service personnel who died during the mission which was launched in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The announcement came amid a worsening security situation in the country with insurgent Taliban forces capturing swathes of territory as US and UK forces withdraw.
But Johnson defended the move, claiming there could "never be a perfect moment" to remove troops from the country.
"The international military presence in Afghanistan was never intended to be permanent," he said.
"We and our NATO allies were always going to withdraw our forces: the only question was when – and there could never be a perfect moment.
"As long ago as 2014, the UK ceased all combat operations and brought the great majority of our troops home, re-orientating our role and our involvement."The 750-strong British force, part of a wider Nato mission in the country, had begun withdrawing in recent months after US President Joe Biden announced he planned to withdraw most of the remaining US presence.
But the PM said he hoped "no-one will leap to the false conclusion that the withdrawal of our forces somehow means the end of Britain's commitment to Afghanistan".
A further £100m of development assistance will be made available to the country this year, Johnson added, while a £58m fund will be allocated to the Afghan national security and defence forces to help push back Taliban insurgents.
"We must be realistic about our ability alone to influence the course of events: it will take combined efforts of many nations, including Afghanistan’s neighbours, to help the Afghan people to build their future," he added.
"But the threat that brought us to Afghanistan in the first place has been greatly diminished by the valour and by the sacrifice of the armed forces of Britain and many other countries.
"We are safer because of everything they did."
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