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Georgia to increase Iraq force to 2,000 - Defense Ministry

RIA Novosti

09/03/2007 15:04 TBILISI, March 9 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's military contingent in Iraq is expected to increase to about 2,000, the first deputy defense minister said Friday.

"Consultations are ongoing, and a decision will be made soon," Levan Nikoleishvili said, adding US-trained infantry battalions will be sent to Iraq.

Georgia currently has 850 servicemen in Iraq.

But Georgi Targamadze, chairman of the parliamentary Defense and Security committee, said Georgian troops serving in Iraq will be about 2,400.

Nikoleishvili also said Georgia will send a peacekeeping contingent to Afghanistan as part of the international force and is currently negotiating with several countries to achieve this.

He said negotiations are ongoing with Germany, France and Latvia, among others.



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