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EU Council of Ministers approves police mission to Afghanistan

RIA Novosti

31/05/2007 15:01 BRUSSELS, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union Council of Ministers has approved the dispatch to Afghanistan of a EU Police Mission (EUPOL) detachment to help the country's government and law enforcement, a spokesman for the council's press service said Thursday.

"The mission will be tasked with training members of the Afghan Interior Ministry, as well as to assist the government establish the rule of law," the spokesman told RIA Novosti.

He said the unit, which will consist of about 160 European law enforcement and justice specialists, will be commanded by Brigadier-General Friedrich Eichele of the German police.

The operational phase of the mission, which will last three years, will begin June 15. It will operate not only in Kabul, but throughout the country's 19 provinces.

Financing for the mission through March 2008 will total 43.6 million euros, the spokesman said.

EUPOL Afghanistan will be part of the European Union's overall commitment to the country, which in the period between 2002 and 2006 contributed some 3.7 billion euros in aid, or one-third of the total aid provided by the international community, making it the second largest donor to Afghanistan.

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