Denmark's PM in Afghanistan on Surprise Visit

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Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on Sunday made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan where she met Danish soldiers in the troubled southwestern Helmand province, her office said.

"The prime minister visited the special forces in Lashkar Gah as well as Danish troops and envoys at Camp Price... and Camp Bastion," it said in a statement.

It also said she met international representatives including Helmand task force head Rupert Jones of Britain.

More than 600 Danish soldiers are currently stationed in Helmand, but around half of them are scheduled to end their mission in the country in August as Afghan forces gradually take over security responsibilities.

Denmark has not yet announced a definite timetable for its full withdrawal from Afghanistan, but expects it to be complete by the end of 2014.

"Denmark will be involved in Afghanistan also after 2014, but we will focus on civilian and development efforts," the premier said in the statement.

The visit is Thorning-Schmidt's second since she took office in 2011.

"Once again, it fills me with pride to see the great efforts made by Danish soldiers and envoys," she said.

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