Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reuters: Romania, Dutch send troops to enforce Libya embargo

BUCHAREST — Romania will contribute 207 troops to NATO efforts to enforce an arms embargo on Libya, as requested by the alliance, President Traian Basescu said on Tuesday.

Ambassadors of the 28 NATO states meeting in Brussels on Tuesday decided to activate a plan for alliance warships and aircraft to implement the U.N.-decreed arms embargo on Libya.

The Dutch government later said it would also contribute about 200 soldiers, including six F-16 jet fighters and one mine hunter ship.

"There was a NATO request for a frigate and two officers from the naval forces' general staff," Romania's Basescu said after a meeting of the country's Supreme Defense Council.

Frigate Regele Ferdinand with 205 troops on board and two officers from the navy's general staff will be ready to leave on its mission within 30 days, he said.

Basescu also said the council decided to supplement the country's troops to Afghanistan with 66 gendarmes to help train riot police.

Dutch Defense Minister Hans Hillen told reporters the Dutch contribution was for three months, after which NATO and the Netherlands would decide if and how to continue the mission. The jet fighters and ship will start operations within a few days.

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