Bulgarian Parliament approves decision on military return to Iraq

Bulgaria's National Assembly ( Parliament) has approved the proposal of sending a new Bulgarian unit of about 155 soldiers and staffs to the Iraqi refugee camp Ashraf, 60 kilometers north of Baghdad, reported the local TRUD newspaper Thursday.

After a four-hour-long debate the Parliament first ratified Wednesday the bi-governmental agreement between Bulgaria and the United States on Bulgarian troops participating in the humanitarian mission in the Iraqi Ashraf refugee camp with 146 votes "for", 15 "against" and 1 abstention, said TRUD.

The authorization to return the troops was also approved without any resistance -- 151 assemblymen voted "for", while 14 " against" and 1 abstained.

Under the newly approved agreement and authorization, Bulgaria will send a new non-combat contingent to Iraq in the first days of April, revealed TRUD, the unit will spend there 12 months and the decision for the rotation of the unit will be taken by the Bulgarian commandment.

Bulgaria's unit will be under the commandment of the US military police, the newspaper added, and it reserves the penal, civil and disciplined jurisdictions of all the soldiers and staffs, as the same as the other soldiers under the current multinational command.

The United States will help Sofia to foot the transportation and logistics expenses, while Bulgaria will pay soldiers' training, salary and insurance, the newspaper explained too.

Source: Xinhua



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