The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, has made a surprise visit, and his first, to Afghanistan, arriving in Herat at 04:00 Spanish time.
Rubalcaba is accompanied by almost the entire Interior Ministry, which includes the Secretary of State for Security, Antonio Camacho, the Director General of the Guardia Civil, Francisco Javier Velázquez, the Deputy Director of the Guardia Civil, Cándido Cardiel and the Secretary of State for Defence (JEMAD), José Julio Rodríguez.
The party left Torrejón airbase on Saturday, with the visit being kept secret until the last moment.
The Interior Minister had breakfast with the troops and expressed his ‘deep gratitude’ for the role being played by the Spanish troops and conveyed a message of ‘sympathy and closeness’ from the King and the Prime Minister.
The Minister also added that their work for the security of Afghanistan is also for the security of Spain and that the people of Spain feel that the troops are working on their behalf.
Pushing it a bit.
There are currently 1,500 Spanish troops in Spain plus 45 Guardia Civil officers assisting with local security.