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Australia happy with Singapore Afghan help

By NNN-Bernama

Melbourne : Singapore ‘s decision to send 40 medics to work with Australian and Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan means a welcome practical contribution to the war against the Taliban, the Australian Government says.

Singapore ’s Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean told his parliament on Friday that Singapore was increasing its deployment in Afghanistan from 10 personnel to 50.

In the new deployment, two groups of 20 Singaporeans will be sent on three-month rotations to work in the Dutch- and Australian-run medical centre at Tarin Kowt, in Afghanistan ‘s restive Oruzgan province.

Australia ’s Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has been pleading in recent months for a greater global contribution to the war in Afghanistan — considered the central battlefield in the war on terror.

“The deployment is a practical contribution to continuing international efforts in Afghanistan and will provide critical support to stabilisation and reconstruction operations,” Fitzgibbon said in a statement.

“This is a valuable opportunity for cooperation between Australia and Singapore and constitutes a positive development for our already strong relationship.”