Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Romania sending reduced number of troops to Afghanistan: defence minister

Romania is also going to deploy troops in 2014 for missions in Afghanistan, but their number will decrease to about 1,000 in the first half of the year, Defence Minister Mircea Dusa said on Monday.

"According to NATO planning, we will continue to ensure Romanian units and troops for fulfilling missions in Afghanistan, but certainly, starting with 2014, with a significant reduction," the minister told the opening ceremony of the Military Secondary College in Breaza, 100 km northwest of Bucharest.

Nearly 2,000 Romanian soldiers were serving in Afghanistan at the beginning of this year, as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

Romania began to send troops to Afghanistan in July 2002. The operation was the country's first military mission abroad after World War II. More than 20 Romanian soldiers have been killed and at least 126 soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is undergoing a transition process that started in 2010 and should end in 2014, when NATO forces are scheduled to withdraw.

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