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Swedish king makes secret Afghanistan visit

TT/The Local · 16 Apr 2011, 16:03

Published: 16 Apr 2011 16:03 GMT+02:00

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According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, the king visited Mazar-i-Sharif where 500 Swedish soldiers have a home base. He also visited the newly built base Monitor in the Shirbigran Province, where Foreign Minister Carl Bildt had recently been.

Bertil Ternert, Royal press officer, told news wire TT that the king left for Afghanistan on Thursday and boarded a plane Saturday afternoon back to Sweden. The trip was kept in secret because of the security situation in Afghanistan.

“The unit had asked if the king could come and visit the Swedish soldiers,” said Ternert.

The king traveled with his chief of staff and an aide.

“The focus has been to visit as much as possible of the operation down there,” said Ternert.

“The king has a strong interest in everything about the Swedish Armed Forces and he is knowledgeable about the operation.”

Later the king, in his field uniform and dark beret, cut the red ribbon during Camp Monitor's inauguration ceremony. Then he spoke to the soldiers.

According to a press release from the Swedish Armed Forces, he said: “I have actually been waiting to come to Afghanistan and experience the Swedish contribution. It's impressive to get to experience the work you all do and it's gratifying to see. It's also interesting for me to get a chance to experience your day-to-day activity, I've been told it's a vulnerable and very stressful situation.”

Crown princess Victoria visited the Swedish contingent in Afghanistan over a year ago. It is the king's first visit to soldiers in Afghanistan.

"I, together with the Swedish people, stand behind you; in your important mission and our continued and important work here in Afghanistan,” the kind said.

“With these words, I declare Camp Monitor inaugurated.”

Story continues below…

His view is that the Swedish mission in Afghanistan is complex but with the goal to create stability and security in the country.

“It's not easy, what I've understood,” he said.

“This cooperation – even though it has gone on for a number of years – is deepening on all fronts. Not just between the forces who are here, but also that which is most important: cooperation and understanding of each other and trust in each other, with the Afghanistan forces that you have to work it – in the breadth of the whole country.”

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:58 April 16, 2011 by GLO
Congrats to the King! Nice to know your leader has the B@lls to go into real danger to support his fellow countrymen. I just think he is a real man in a world that has way to many wanting to dress up like a girl. This Amer-Swede is proud of your King.
17:04 April 16, 2011 by eZee.se
"Mission Accomplished" ?

17:12 April 16, 2011 by amirhosein
what are you doing there in another country, exactly, again?

17:16 April 16, 2011 by HeilNizar
Sweden has a king?! Or just symbolic left over from old days? hehe
18:19 April 16, 2011 by Fasterthanjesus
That is a bold ass move. Any leader who is willing to visit the troops (even if it is a symbolic leadership) is good in my books. Here in Canada prime minister Harper may be a dick, but he had the balls to do the same thing a few years ago. Its really easy for any politician or leader to forget what troops actually have to go through. Making that kind of visit is what leaders need to do more often.
18:27 April 16, 2011 by ionut
Pimp my ride
20:25 April 16, 2011 by muscle
I feel sorry for the Swedish armed forces there in Afghanistan. They come from a cold country and now are serving in extremely hot whether!
20:42 April 16, 2011 by star10
What is he doing there? I mean what is his real contribution? He is there to release words like "great", "unity", bla..bla... The war remains meaningless to Sweden. The dearest Swedish young boys and girls are paying unnecessary sacrifice. Tax payers are paying unnecessary cost.
20:42 April 16, 2011 by wxman
@ muscle, perhaps you're thinking of Iraq. Afghanistan has a continental climate which varies from warm/hot in the summer to very cold snowy winters. It's not unusual for Bagram to have 1 to 2 feet of snow on the ground in January.
20:58 April 16, 2011 by wenddiver
Good for him, it's important to show the cavemen that nobody is terrorized in the west. Good breeding shows through in times like these, let the ninny's spend theit time picking out the best goofy sweater and sneaker combo, I like a leader that looks like one and the Ray-Bans and dessert togs definetly say going somewhere and doing something. It's a good look and he might want to think about continuing it when he gets back to Sweden for the duration, when not doing anything formal.

Always fun to get out to the field and see what our boys are up to, I'm sure he had a great time.
22:31 April 16, 2011 by laura ka baal
Pimp on ride.
22:51 April 16, 2011 by Daniel Hynes
Way 'ta go Carl baby...
00:01 April 17, 2011 by muscle
@wxman hmm I understand but in summer it doesnt stay below 40 degrees C... which, I suppose, would still be tough for the people who are used to having just 30 or near 30 degrees as the normal temperature as summer, but for just few months.

did sweden participate in IRAQ? if yes, then woaa!!! :P really sorry for these guys!
02:04 April 17, 2011 by Bender B Rodriquez
"The king has a strong interest in everything about the Swedish Armed Forces and he is knowledgeable about the operation."

I hope so. After all, he once was Commander in Chief of the armed forces...
02:09 April 17, 2011 by zircon
Snow White/ Sweden present time: Time like snowflakes...
03:56 April 17, 2011 by BigBilly
You have a king? Why?
05:24 April 17, 2011 by foordranata
And I bet some people will think better of themselves because their king went there to... well just to go there.

What a sad mother*ucker.
05:48 April 17, 2011 by BarCode
Obama (Bush Lite) thanks you for your support.
06:26 April 17, 2011 by darky
You sure he is not imitating the Danish Queen? The Danish Queen visited Danish troops secretly last month also. He must have heard of this and became motivated to meet his people as well. haha
12:20 April 17, 2011 by cogito
Support for the monarchy in Sweden is at an all-time low. He had to do something besides party.
15:07 April 17, 2011 by DAVID T
He was looking for more immigrants to bring to Sweden
16:09 April 17, 2011 by 2394040
There's a very good chance that Victoria will be paying several more visits to Afghanistan; but as Queen. This war is never going to end in a victory for the coalition. All the great empires that have ever gone into the Middle East have come away with a bloody nose. Welcome to the Middle East! The Graveyard of Empires. Which empires you may ask? Well, for certain the Roman Empire, the British Empire. Also Russia. And now the USA and companions.

As the old saying goes, "Those who will not learn the lessons of the past are destined to repeat them."
20:10 April 17, 2011 by Bostonexpat
Good show of support for the Swedish troops!
07:19 April 18, 2011 by wabasha
thats one way to get an early summer tan. should have brought his new prince in law with too
08:56 April 18, 2011 by this_aint_sparta
And soon Bin Laden will be paying a secret visit to sweden to show solidarity to his troops working hard for the construction of Sweden as a society. He will also visit the grave of the man blown up in down town stockholm.

King's visit will also improve the ties and relation between the two nations that will help the trade, yes you are right which means more import of terrorism threat to swedish streets.

Total crap.
11:37 April 19, 2011 by wenddiver
The King should get a Shoulder holster to go with his Raybans.
17:44 April 19, 2011 by philster61
Well done sir.... as an ex member of the forces, you have done a brave thing by entering a war zone...Until anybody has served in a hostile area then they hve no idea what they are talking about when they criticize......
07:13 April 20, 2011 by CokoSwede
Was he checking how many mass graves have been filled with the bodies of Afghan men, women and children that this war has produced?

NATO has killed so many Afghan people it is stunning hypocrisy.
12:20 April 20, 2011 by wenddiver
@Coko Swede- Anybody who has been to Afgansitan knows the extreme trouble NATO forces go to avoiding civilian casulties. As opposed to the taliban who Stoned Women and shot Gays in the middle of the Soccer stadium and left them out to rot as a lesson. At least they have mass graves, the people of the International community killed in the Twin Towers were innocent and smashed and burned to nothing.

The King's cause is just and his men deserve everybody's support and have it except for members of the gross murder cult called Islam and international Communists trying to destroySweden and the West.
19:14 April 20, 2011 by notpresto
Its true Coko Swede when I was in Afghan i killed at least a football teams worth of woman and children, I mean they dont run as fast so u dont have to give them as much lead.

On no wait. There was the 150 odd landmine's we cleared from the school football field and the women's hospital we helped repair and Afgan Soliders we worked beside day and night so they can stand on there own.

So easy to get these things mixed up.
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