Australia pledges more troops to Afghanistan ahead of polls
AFX | August 18, 2005
SYDNEY - Australia said it would increase the number of soldiers it is sending to war-torn Afghanistan to help prepare the country for elections next month.
Defence Minister Robert Hill announced during a visit to Canberra by Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah that Australia's commitment of elite Special Air Service (SAS) troops would increase from 150 to 190.
The soldiers will arrive in early September in time for national parliamentary elections and will remain in the country for a year.
Abdullah said he was delighted that Australia had agreed to send troops to his country.
'That's very good news for the people of Afghanistan,' he told reporters.