Carme Chacon, Spanish Defence Minister, stated yesterday that she was hopeful that Spain would be in a position to pull out of Afghanistan sometime within the next five years. This news comes just a couple of days after the government announced that it would be adding 200 additional troops to the 800 already on the ground in Afghanistan as part of the UN force.

It is expected that the additional detachment of just over 200 troops will be approved in Parliament tomorrow by Spanish MPs. The defence minister said she believed that it was very important to fix a timescale to the Afghan troop deployments and not to consider it to be an indefinite stay.

She said that she believed that five years was well within the bounds of reality in stabilising the country and pushing back the Taliban forces who refuse to give up their claim to sovereignty of the war-torn nation.

She went on to say that the troops will be heavily involved in trying to bring some kind of development and stability to Afghanistan and she was hopeful that the next election in the country will be fully run by the people of Afghanistan without outside help.