Finland sends more peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan

11:26, January 23, 2010      

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Finnish President Tarja Halonen and the Finnish government's committee on foreign and security policy decided to send more peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan, according to a statement released by Finnish government on Friday.

Finland will first deploy a further 50 peacekeeping soldiers to Afghanistan and the total strength will be brought up to 195 by the beginning of next year.

Finland now has 121 peacekeeping soldiers in Northern Afghanistan as a part of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operation.

According to the Finnish government, further strengthening of Finland's participation in military crisis management is required both because of the challenging security situation and the support offered to the development of the Afghan army and police through, for example, training and cooperation.

The Finnish government added it would also raise the amount of aid earmarked for northern Afghanistan where Finnish troops are deployed.

The statement also said Finland was preparing to send some military instructors to Somalia as part of a planned EU operation, adding the objective is to train 2,000 Somali troops.

Source: Xinhua
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