Predoiu: Romania to increase number of troops in Afghanistan by 100

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Romania will examine the possibility to enhance its contribution in Afghanistan in the spirit of allied solidarity and in conformity with the national evaluations and decision taking procedures, pointed out the interim Foreign Minister, Catalin Predoiu, who takes part in the formal meeting of the NATO foreign ministers, in Brussels.

Following NATO Secretary general request, addressed to the allies to increase alongside the United States their contribution to ISAF, Minister Predoiu said that Romania will examine the possibility of enhancing its contribution in Afghanistan, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) informed. As well, the interim ForMin underlined the importance of the civil reconstruction aspects in that country and, in this context, indicated the need of coordination of the allied efforts with those of the European Union (EU) in this field.

Catalin Predoiu reconfirmed Romania’s long-term commitment to its NATO mission in Afghanistan, through support for the efforts of stabilization and for the fight against terrorism.
Romanian diplomacy chief stressed Romania has a substantial presence within these operations there mentioning that, following the NATO Summit in Bucharest, in April 2008, the Romanian contribution is twice as much, currently up to more than 1,000 troops deployed in southern Afghanistan, and that in 2010 another 100 military will be added.

The allies reaffirmed at the meeting in Brussels their commitment for the continuation of their involvement in Afghanistan in order to secure a durable solution of the region’s stabilization, with accent on the importance of securing a close cooperation with the states in the region, as well as with the other involved players – the United Nations and the EU.

Participants in the NATO member states meeting with ISAF contributor states hailed the American Administration’s decision on the strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan, as well as the strategy to combat insurgency, proposed by ISAF troops commander, General McChrystal. This week, sources in the Romanian Ministry of National Defence (MApN) told they expect a political decision on an eventual increase in the number of forces deployed in the theater of operations in Afghanistan.

More than 20 countries participating in the military operations in Afghanistan announced they will enhance the number of troops, or that they are ready to do so, announced on Thursday NATO spokesman James Appathurai, but without naming the states which accepted to send added troops.

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