Denmark mulls sending more troops to Afghanistan: defense minister

Huang Panyue

COPENHAGEN, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The Danish government might send more soldiers to Afghanistan if necessary, Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said here Tuesday.

"We are open to increasing the number of our forces in Afghanistan if necessary, but we have not yet made the decision," Frederiksen said at a joint press conference after meeting with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

"But I can say that we are generally positive about increasing our presence in Afghanistan," the minister said.

Frederiksen confirmed to Danish news agency Ritzau that Denmark had received a request from the United States of America regarding the increased contribution.

"I have answered that we are looking forward to it," he was quoted by Ritzau as saying.

"There are problems in Afghanistan, and it is important that we participate," the minister said.

"So it is quite important that we help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan," he added.

Denmark has provided military and humanitarian support to Afghanistan as part of international efforts since 2002. It currently has about 160 troops and support personnel in Afghanistan.

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