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UPDATED: 09:08, November 23, 2006
Slovenia to dramatically expand peacekeeping forces in Kosovo
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Slovenia would dramatically expand its peacekeeping forces in Kosovo from the current 214 to 600 soldiers, Slovenian Defense Minister Karl Erjavec told the press in Ljubljana on Wednesday.

A motorized battalion will be sent to Kosovo in the second half of February next year, Erjavec said, adding Slovenia's peacekeeping force in Kosovo is the country's largest overseas contingent.

According to the minister, 355 members of the Slovenian Armed Forces are currently taking part in NATO, EU and UN missions around the world.

Before the end of the year, Slovenia will send one military observer to Sudan and 12 soldiers to Lebanon, Erjavec said, while presenting his ministry's activities in the past year.

The second largest Slovenian contingent is serving in Bosnia- Herzegovina with 76 soldiers, but Slovenia is planning a gradual withdrawal to begin in late December or early January.

The number of Slovenian Armed Forces members in Afghanistan currently stands at 54 and Slovenia has no plans to increase its military presence there, said Erjavec.

Source: Xinhua

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