Australia unlikely to send more troops to Afghanistan

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Sydney, Nov 5(ANI): Australian Defence Minister John Faulkner has hinted that Australia is unlikely to send more troops to the combined NATO and International Security Assistance forces in Afghanistan, despite US General Stanley McChrystal's request for an extra 40,000 troops from the Obama administration.

Australia has about 1550 troops in Afghanistan, who are mostly deployed in the southern province of Oruzgan where they are working to train local security forces.

"I've certainly indicated to those I've spoken to here in the United States over the last couple of days this number is right," News.com.au quoted Faulkner, as having told the ABC.

"There is a very clear understanding and appreciation of the fact that Australia increased the number of troops to Afghanistan very significantly on April 29 this year," he added.

Faulkner said this after his meetings with US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and other senior officials in Washington.

The minister further said that the Australia Government was well aware of its responsibilities in Afghanistan.

"I have reinforced to Secretary Gates that Australia is strongly committed to our mission in Afghanistan," Faulkner said. (ANI)

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