DIPLOMATIC SHORTS

British ambassador welcomes Slovakia's Afghanistan troop boost

BRITISH Ambassador to Slovakia Michael Roberts has welcomed the government's October 17 decision to beef up Slovakia's military units in Afghanistan.

"The British Government welcomes the decision by the Slovak Government to send units to Afghanistan's Uruzgan province," Roberts said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. "This move will strengthen the ISAF (International Security and Assistance Forces) mission in Afghanistan."

The ISAF is playing a key role in developing sustainability, stability and democracy in Afghanistan, he said.

Slovakia will continue to operate a 57-member multi-purpose engineering unit at the Kandahar air base in southern Afghanistan. In addition, the government approved the allocation of another five soldiers each to ISAF headquarters, the Provincial Reconstruction Teams and the Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams.

Slovakia will also send eight military medics to the field hospital at the Kabul air base, and a 35-member guard platoon to the Tarin Kowt base in the province of Uruzgan, in the south of the country.

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