The foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, arrived in Kabul today on her first visit to Afghanistan.
Mrs Beckett will be meeting members of the government, Nato officials and UK civilian staff during her stay, according to a spokesman.
Her arrival comes just hours after a suicide bomber detonated a device at the US's Bagram airbase while the American vice-president, Dick Cheney, was inside.
Up to 23 people were reportedly killed in the blast, but Mr Cheney was not hurt. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Yesterday the defence secretary, Des Browne, revealed that another 1,400 troops are being sent to strengthen the British force in the country, mainly to the volatile southern province of Helmand.
Mrs Beckett flew in from Pakistan, where she held talks with President Pervez Musharraf concerning suspected safe havens for militants.