Obama asks Poland to send additional troops to Afghanistan: PM

13:55, December 03, 2009      

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Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said that U.S. President Barack Obama asked Poland to contribute together with other European countries additional troops to Afghanistan.

Tusk said that he had received a phone call from Obama and that the U.S. leader made the request during a 30-minute conversation in which he discussed his new Afghanistan strategy.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced later on Tuesday that he will send about 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan in a long-awaited war strategy shift that he hopes will defeat the Taliban and allow for a U.S. exit. This will bring overall U.S. forces in Afghanistan to just under 100,000 strong.

The Polish PM stressed that the operation in Afghanistan was a NATO mission and added it was very significant as it was putting in practice article 5 of the Washington Treaty under which NATO members agree that an armed attack against one or more of them shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, will assist the party or parties so attacked.

The PM described Poland's participation in NATO mission as "an investment in Poland's security."

He had asked Defense Minister Bogdan Klich to inform him how many additional soldiers were necessary to make the Polish contingent more effective, Tusk was quoted as saying by the Polish news agency PAP.

On Wednesday Government spokesman Pawel Gras told TOK FM Radio that Poland would probably send additional 600 soldiers to Afghanistan and additional 200 troops would be kept in Poland as a reserve.

According to initial analyses prepared by the Defense Ministry this is the most probable number of soldiers but no decision has been taken yet, Gras stressed.

Source: Xinhua
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