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Sweden will pull back its armed forces in Afghanistan and put a stronger focus on bilateral aid, the Scandinavian country's center-right government said on Monday as it presented a new plan for its activities in Afghanistan.
Swedish troops will have more of a supporting role and not take part in active war fare in the future. The military mission in Afghanistan will transition to a supportive one by 2014 at the latest.
“What we area saying for 2011 is that the troops we have now, about 500, will remain during 2011 and that we might be able to decrease the number of troops by 2012,” said Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at a joint press conference with opposition Social Democratic party leader Mona Sahlin and Green Party spokesperson Peter Eriksson.
However, a troop withdrawal will only be possible if the situation is stable, he added.
A growing number of Swedes want the withdrawal of their troops stationed in Afghanistan, according to a survey published last month. The poll came just days after the death of the fifth Swedish soldier in Afghanistan since 2002.
Last Updated (Monday, 01 November 2010 16:39)