NEWS BRIEFS

Slovak troops to stay in Iraq

MORE than 100 Slovak military engineers will stay in Iraq "as long as the Iraqi government wants them to stay," Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Kukan said on June 5.

The minister does not think the Slovak soldiers will stay in Iraq for years, however.

Kukan regards the recent decision by the UN Security Council to prolong its peacekeeping mission in Iraq by another year as positive. According to him, this is another argument for the Slovak contingent to remain in Iraq, the TASR news agency reported.

"As a matter of fact, this resolution is a measure that Slovak opposition parties required," Kukan added.

Slovak parliament approved the engineering unit's deployment to Iraq without a time limit. Approximately 100 soldiers were sent to Iraq in July 2003 with the main task of de-mining.

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