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Army to advise move to Kandahar

A SENIOR source at NATO headquarters in Brussels was quoted by the Pravda daily as saying the Slovak army was about to advise the government in Bratislava to agree to a transfer of Slovak troops from Kabul to Kandahar in Afghanistan after having weighed the risks.

A special team sent to Afghanistan by the Slovak army general staff “received information that will lead the experts to agree to the transfer on their return”, the source said.

On his visit to Bratislava at the end of October, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer urged Prime Minister Robert Fico to agree to the transfer to the more dangerous Kandahar area to join the rest of the ISAF mission troops who were already there “as a sign of solidarity”.

However, Fico, who is less supportive of sending Slovak troops to foreign missions than his predecessor Mikuláš Dzurinda, has maintained that the soldiers will not be moved unless he has guarantees of their safety.

According to the NATO source, the alliance does not expect a decision on moving the 60 Slovak engineers in Afghanistan before the first half of next year

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