Dutch PM visits troops in Afghanistan, meets with Karzai
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende made a surprise visit to Dutch troops in Afghanistan on Tuesday, and was to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the government said. Balkenende's Cabinet will decide within a few weeks whether to extend Dutch participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan as the two-year mandate of its 2,000-strong force is set to end in August of next year. The visit was intended to let Balkenende see the military situation and reconstruction programs before the Cabinet makes its decision, which must then be approved by parliament.
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