Bulgaria not to send more troops to Afghanistan in 2011: DM

20:38, September 01, 2010      

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Bulgaria will not send more troops to the country's contingent participating in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2011, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov said on Wednesday.

"There is no intention to increase the Bulgarian participation in Afghanistan in 2011," Angelov when opening the new academic year at the National Defense Academy.

The Bulgarian government decided in June to add 65 military instructors and medical staff join the 540-member Bulgarian mission in Afghanistan by the end of the year.

When talking about the Bulgarian defense policy, Angelov said one of the key priorities will continue to be the country's participation in the NATO and EU operations.

The minister said the national military and political ambition for the army is to provide NATO with a 4,300 to 4,500-strong mechanized brigade for operations under the Washington Treaty.

For NATO operations that are not covered by this treaty, Bulgaria is ready to contribute a 1,000-strong mechanized battalion, he said.

In the foreseeable future, there is no danger of a major military conflict in Europe, or a direct military threat against Bulgaria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Angelov said.



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