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Czech parliament approves plan to prolong foreign military missions
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13:20, December 06, 2007

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The Czech Republic's lower house of parliament approved a plan Wednesday to maintain its troops in Iraq next year and reinforce its mission in Afghanistan.

A total of 415 troops could be deployed in Afghanistan next year, compared with the current 224, according to the plan, which was also approved by the Senate.

Beginning next March, a separate Czech Provincial Reconstruction team will operate in the central Logar province, comprising 180 soldiers and civil specialists.

Meanwhile, the country will cut its troops in Iraq from July next year from the current 100 to 20. The Czechs will remain at Basra airport in southern Iraq.

The Czech military will maintain its 555-strong contingent in the Balkans in 2008.

Three Czech soldiers will take part in the EU operation in Chad and the Central African Republic next year.

The participation of Czech soldiers in foreign missions will thus cost about 107 million U.S. dollars, accounting for about 3.5percent of the country's annual budget.

Source: Xinhua

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