Friday, March 5, 2010

Romanian president visits Afghanistan

BUCHAREST, Romania, March 4 (UPI) -- Romanian President Traian Basescu and two defense officials made a surprise visit toAfghanistan Thursday to visit Romanian NATO troops.

Basescu was accompanied by his nation's defense minister and a senior general, the Mediafax news agency in Bucharest said. They arrived from a two-day state visit to Kazakhstan and met with two senior NATO officials in Kandahar for a 20-minute briefing before setting off to visit the Romanian soldiers.

The trip was not announced in advance due to security reasons, the report said.

There are 1,020 Romanian soldiers taking part in the NATO mission to oust Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents and 600 more are being trained to deploy in Afghanistan, Mediafax said.

Since joining the mission in 1998, 12 Romanian soldiers have died in Afghanistan.

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