Monday, October 20, 2008

We are getting closer to achieving goal - says Hutton

The Defence Secretary John Hutton visited downtown Basra today after visiting Baghdad where he met with Prime Minister Maliki .

During the visit to Basra he commented:

“As my first time in Basra, I was amazed by the sense of optimism as I heard of the tremendous gains made here in the last few months. The local military, police and ordinary citizens made it quite clear they were optimistic the city would not slip back into violence. And the new investment, development and infrastructure improvements I have seen will support this determination."

“It is clear the support of our forces and our role in training the Iraqi Army has been critical in achieving these improvements. Now, we want to focus on training and education to get us closer to our aim of passing full control to the Iraqi authorities."

“We are getting closer to achieving this goal and I hope we can reach the point when we can consider a significant change to our mission here next year."

“This massive progression is due to the efforts of every British service personnel and civilian who has served here, and I am hugely proud of what they have achieved. ”

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