British Prime Minister David Cameron made his first official visit to Afghanistan on Thursday, holding a joint press conference with President Hamid Karzai broadcast live on national television.
Cameron, whose visit was not announced ahead of time for security reasons, said Afghanistan was one of the most important countries in British foreign policy and pledged to help its people, local television reported.
Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, mostly in the south, as part of a 46-nation force. It is the second-biggest contributor to the NATO-led mission after the United States.
A total of 294 British personnel have died in Afghanistan since operations began in the country to topple the Taliban government in October 2001.