Oz firm on NATO commitment in Afghanistan

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Sydney, June 8 (ANI): Despite two Aussie soldiers being among the ten NATO troops who were killed in separate attacks on a bloody day for NATO in Afghanistan, the Australian administration stands firm on its commitment to NATO.

Aussie Foreign Minister Stephen Smith reiterated his country's unwavering support for the NATO alliance saying that there is no "time-table" according to which the duration of the commitment will terminate.

"We've never put a timetable on our commitment to Afghanistan other than to very strongly make the point that our commitment is to be there together with the rest of the international community to stare down international terrorism," the Daily Express quoted Stephen Smith, as saying..

The two casualties are the first Aussies to die on the Afghan battle-ground in almost a year and their death has resulted in an outpouring of support for NATO troops posted in the troubled region.

Aussie Defence force chief Angus Houston said words could do little justice to the exceptional contribution that the two soldiers had made for their country.

"Quietly serving our nation and demonstrating every day the very best of what Aussies pride themselves on displaying to the world courage, determination, mateship and selfless service," the Daily Express quoted Houston, as saying.

Meanwhile, it is being said that the cause of this unusually high number of lethal attacks by Taliban is probably in anticipation of imminent US operations that will see a huge increase in troop strength as the US pull all stops to regain Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. (ANI)

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