Tuesday, December 2, 2008

President: Romanian troops to remain in Iraq until 2011

BUCHAREST, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Romania would keep its troops in Iraq until 2011 or until the allied troops leave that country, President Traian Basescu said on Monday.

Basescu made the statement at a video-conference with the Romanian troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans, according to the official Agerpres news agency.

Basescu said his statement was aimed at "clarifying" any political debate on the topic.

The president said Romania had been requested by the Iraqi government to continue its mission in Iraq till 2011.

On future missions Romania plans to participate in along with NATO troops, Basescu said: "My option is for the missions and locations not to change, if possible."

Romania has some 1,600 troops deployed abroad, with about 600 in Iraq and the rest in Afghanistan and the Balkans.

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