Reinfeldt in unexpected visit to Afghanistan

Reinfeldt in unexpected visit to Afghanistan
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Monday made a surprise stop in Afghanistan to meet Swedish troops in the northern part of the country, a government spokesman said.

Reinfeldt “arrived today … He is there to see the soldiers,” Niclas Bengtsson told AFP, adding that the prime minister was currently in the Camp Northern Lights in Mazar-i-Sharif where Sweden’s 389 troops in the country are based.

Bengtsson refused to provide any further details about the trip and the duration of Reinfeldt’s stay in Afghanistan, citing security concerns.

Sweden’s parliament voted last month to increase the Scandinavian country’s contingent in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to around 500 this year.

According to the TT news agency, Reinfeldt is only the second prime minister in resolutely neutral Sweden to visit the country’s troops abroad.

His visit comes 17 years after another conservative government chief, current Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, visited Swedish United Nations troops in Bosnia.