David Cameron sends Christmas message praising work of British troops in Afghanistan
The Prime Minister also reminded them of the 'purpose of the NATO mission' to make the country secure
David Cameron has sent a Christmas message to British troops serving in Afghanistan, praising their work and reminding them of "the purpose of the mission".
As he spoke of the "extraordinary sacrifices" made by all the UK's armed forces, the Prime Minister also singled out the crew of the HMS Illustrious for recognition. Last month they cancelled their leave in order to sail out and bring aid to those affected by the devastating typhoon in the Philippines.
Appearing in the Sun on Sunday today, Mr Cameron's festive congratulations came in the wake of his controversial comments one week ago that it was "mission accomplished" in Afghanistan.
He said that in his visit to Camp Bastion last week he discovered "just how much the messages of support from home meant" to those serving away from their families over Christmas.
"As we gather with our families this Christmas let's remember the extraordinary sacrifices being made by Britain's armed forces serving our country thousands of miles from home," Mr Cameron wrote.
"The crew of HMS Illustrious who cancelled their Christmas leave to help bring aid to thousands in the Philippines. The British forces supporting the training mission in Mali.
"The Navy personnel tackling pirates off the coast of Somalia and maintaining our nuclear deterrent in the depths of the oceans. And, of course, the many members of our armed forces spending their Christmas serving in Afghanistan."
The Prime Minister reiterated his promise that all combat troops will have been withdrawn from the country by the end of next year.
"Of course, we will not leave behind a perfect country or a perfect democracy," he said. "Afghanistan is an extremely poor country with a very troubled history.
"But we should remember the purpose of the Nato mission. We sent our service men and women to build Afghan security forces that were capable of maintaining a level of security so that Afghanistan could never again become a haven for terrorist training camps. They will achieve that.
"So as we think about our brave armed forces this Christmas, let's take pride in their achievements in Afghanistan. They have helped to rebuild a country and put it on the path towards reconciliation, investment and lasting security.
"Our troops should be very proud of what they have done. And we should be very proud of them."
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...