Allies to the End
Defence Minister Aleš Hojs said following a cabinet session that Slovenia would remain in Afghanistan until the conclusion of the Isaf mission at the end of 2014. The number of Slovenian troops there will however decrease from 89 to a maximum of 80 in October.
Hojs told the press that the Slovenian contingent would continue to be gradually reduced in 2013 as well as in 2014 in line with decisions by NATO. The tasks of the contingent and its location remain unchanged.
There are presently 89 members of the Slovenian Armed Forces participating in NATO's mission in Afghanistan. In line with today's decision of the government the number will decrease with October's rotation to up to 80, which will also include civil experts.
Hojs said that Afghan security forces are expected to take over control over the Herat area, where the Slovenian contingent is presently active, at the end of this year.
The government decided to keep Slovenia involved in Afghanistan on the basis of a study that showed Slovenia's participation is in its strategic interest in terms of international ties and foreign policy interests, Hojs said.
The minister, who feels a withdrawal would seriously hurt Slovenia's reputation, added international forces were present in Afghanistan upon the wish or demand of the local population.
Slovenia's role in Afghanistan will be discussed next Tuesday at a joint session of the parliamentary committees for foreign policy and defence.
Today's decision by the government comes after the previous cabinet started announcing towards the end of its 2008-2011 term an early withdrawal from Afghanistan.
10 Apr 2012 / By STA
27 Dec 2011 / By STA
01 Dec 2011 / By STA
16 Nov 2011 / By STA
04 Nov 2011 / By STA
03 Aug 2011 / By STA
27 Jul 2011 / By STA
06 Jul 2011 / By STA