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Slovakia will not withdraw soldiers from Iraq

SLOVAKIA will not withdraw its soldiers from Iraq, announced Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda in response to the Slovak Communist Party's (KSS) demand that the country reconsider the presence of its peacekeepers in Iraq.

"It is impossible to negotiate with terrorism or achieve an agreement or a compromise because one would backfire. We must demonstrate strength, courage, wage the fight, and win it," said Dzurinda, the news wire SITA wrote.

In addition to the opposition voices of the KSS and Smer, the ruling coalition's Christian Democratic Movement has also called for a debate on withdrawing the units.

The KSS says that the "occupation of Iraq" does not have a mandate from the UN.

"None of the US goals, except for the economic ones, have been fulfilled, and the actual war has only just begun," claimed KSS chairman Jozef Sevc.

The second rotation of Slovak military engineers has cleared 9,600 square metres of minefields manually and 1,400 square metres using the mine-clearing vehicle Bozena. They have found and deactivated 121 antitank mines.

Slovakia has deployed approximately 100 military engineers in Iraq. In the near future they should examine new minefields to further the operation of the coalition forces.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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