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NEW YORK (AP) — Four U.S. governors made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Saturday as part of a delegation to receive counterterrorism briefings and greet troops stationed there.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, along with Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Bill Haslam of Tennessee and Jay Nixon of Missouri, traveled with officials from the U.S. Department of Defense, which sponsored the trip, Cuomo’s office said. They were invited by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, his office said.

“During a period of heightened security concerns, we are working closely with our federal partners to increase preparedness at home in New York and protect our citizens from the threat of global terrorism,” Cuomo said in a statement. “At the same time, we must never forget the continuing courage and sacrifice of the members of our military serving overseas, who have dedicated their lives to defending our country.”

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