Croatia to Increase Number of Soldiers in Afghanistan

Total Croatia News

At the NATO summit in Warsaw, Croatia confirms it will increase its presence in Afghanistan.

NATO leaders confirmed on Saturday that they would continue the peace support mission in Afghanistan after 2016, and Croatia will continue to participate in the mission with about 20 soldiers more than before, reports Večernji List on July 9, 2016.

“Parliament has already adopted a decision to increase the number of our soldiers in the mission. We will continue to participate in all aspects of the mission as before, and step up our activities”, said Defence Minister Josip Buljević who participated in the NATO summit in Warsaw.

Parliament has recently approved the continuation of the mission in support of peace in Afghanistan. In the second half of this year, instead of 70, as many as 95 members of the Croatian Armed Forces could be sent there, with the possibility of rotation. Buljević said that the number of Croatian soldiers would be evaluated as needed and would be within the limits approved by Parliament.

Croatia has also declared its readiness to participate in strengthening of the military presence in the eastern part of NATO. On Friday, on the first day of the summit, NATO leaders decided to boost the forces with four multinational battalions, each of which will have between 600 to 1,000 soldiers who will be deployed in the three Baltic countries and Poland.

“Croatia is still considering how it will participate in these forces. We have declared our intention to participate with one company, but the final decision will be made by Parliament”, said Buljević.

Buljević added that there was no operational information about where these forces might be located. “We have our wishes where we would like to be deployed, but it is still too early to say”, he said. The Minister pointed out that for Croatia it was crucial to participate in all NATO activities. “Croatia is a country which was endangered and which can be endangered. About 20 percent of our budget is filled with revenues from tourism, so safety is a key issue for us in economic and every other sense. Participation in all NATO activities is very important and therefore Croatia will continue to participate in them”, concluded Buljević.


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