Slovakia may late this year withdraw 53 soldiers currently deployed as guard platoon members in the ISAF mission at Tarin Kowt base in Afghanistan plus 51 sappers serving at Kandahar air base, according to a proposal jointly submitted to today’s (Wednesday, July 18) government session by the Foreign and Defence Ministries.
The proposal sets the withdrawal timeframe for 2013 as well, with 165 troops possibly leaving Kandahar air base by June and another 20 special troops returning to Slovakia by April. A maximum of 33 armed forces members should be sent to Afghanistan this year, the TASR newswire wrote. If the proposal is passed, overall expenditures linked to these plans should reach almost €38 million, with a further €27 million in total about to be spent within the next two years – expenses that should be covered by the Defence Ministry budget. There are around 130,000 soldiers and experts from 50 countries serving in Afghanistan at the moment, including 344 members of the Slovak Armed Forces. The proposed changes result from changes in the foreign policy goals in the given region, as well as from the outcomes of the recent NATO summit in Chicago. The intention of the coalition forces is to gradually hand over responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.
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18. Jul 2012 at 14:00