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Georgia to increase its military contingent in Iraq - president

RIA Novosti

04/03/2007 15:30 TBILISI, March 4 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia will increase its military contingent in Iraq, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said Sunday.

"Georgia is participating in the peacekeeping operation in Iraq. You know well about the situation there and, therefore, we have made a decision to increase our contingent in Iraq," Saakashvili said at a new military base being built in the region of Shida Kartli in central Georgia.

Currently, 850 Georgian troops are staying in Iraq.

The Georgian president also confirmed his intention to send troops to Afghanistan to participate in the international peacekeeping effort.

"We are already prepared and will send our peacekeeping contingent to Afghanistan," Saakashvili said.

The Georgian president urged the construction of the new military facility to be completed by May 26, Georgia's Independence Day.

The new military base near the city of Gori is Georgia's second largest facility that meets NATO standards. The first such base was opened in 2006 near the city of Senaki in western Georgia.



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