PRAGUE, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Slovakia will definitively
withdraw all troops from Iraq after almost four and a half years, and send more
soldiers to NATO operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, the Slovak parliament
confirmed on Tuesday.
By the end of this year, the remaining two Slovak
troops from the Iraqi Freedom operation command will leave Iraq, according to a
report reaching here from Bratislava, Slovakia.
Prime Minister Robert Fico promised to withdraw
Slovaks from Iraq in his policy statement last summer.
On the other hand, the government will reinforce its
contingent in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Slovakia will send another 50 troops to Afghanistan
next year so their total number will increase to 111.
A new 35-member guarding unit will go to Afghanistan
to protectthe Tarin Kut air base in the Afghan province of Oruzgan.
An eight-member Slovak team will work in the Czech
field hospital at the Kabul airport for six months.
Other Slovak soldiers will operate in provincial
reconstruction teams, in the ISAF command and they will also help train the
At present, Slovakia has 57 engineers in the
International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
They are involved in reconstruction works, repairing the airport and mine disposal in the southern Afghan town of Kandahar.
The total costs of all Slovak troops in Afghanistan
would amount to 356 million crowns (1 U.S. dollars equals 22.529 Slovak crowns)
The Slovak parliament also agreed on the enhancement
of the country's military presence in Kosovo, where there are currently 135
soldiers in the joint Czech-Slovak battalion.
Two Mi-17 transport helicopters and another 39 Slovak
troops will be deployed in the mission from mid-December to mid-June, 2008.