Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Monday, 29 November 2010

Member's business: Nine Years of Conflict in Afghanistan

SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn led a debate to mark the ninth anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom by the United States' military in Afghanistan and that 20 December 2010 would mark the ninth anniversary of the establishment of the International Security Assistance Force by the United Nations.

Mr Hepburn said this was longer than the duration of World War I and of World War II and nearly as long as both wars combined during member's business on 1 december 2010.

He said he regretted the loss of life caused, including 341 military personnel from the UK, 2174 from coalition forces in total and thousands of civilian casualties and he added greater progress was required for a timely exit strategy.

Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said the UK government had indicated that troops would be removed by 2015, but the Scottish government's view was that they should work towards withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Ms Hyslop also said she wanted to put on record that the Scottish government's admiration for the remarkable and courageous work the troops are doing and that they had their full support.

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