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Ukraine set to join Southeast Europe peacekeepers

RIA Novosti

22/10/2007 14:37 KIEV, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced on Monday his country is ready to join the multinational peacekeeping forces of southeast Europe.

Speaking at a Southeast Europe Defense Ministerial meeting in Kiev, Yushchenko said the move would contribute to stability in Europe.

The agreement on the Multinational Peace Force Southeast Europe (MPFSEE) was signed by Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Turkey in 1998.

The aim of the initiative was to contribute to regional security and stability, and to foster good neighbourly relations among the countries in southeast Europe in the context of the Southeast Europe Defence Ministerial process, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and in the spirit of Partnership for Peace.

Yushchenko also called on the parties attending the meeting to back the Ukraine-NATO Action Plan, aimed at the nation's integration into the Northern Alliance.

The agenda of the meeting in Kiev includes reports on the operation of the Politico-Military Steering Committee and the Southeast Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) in 2007, as well as speeches by representatives of NATO Allied Joint Force Commands Naples and Brunssum.

The defense ministers are expected to sign a number of documents, approve a joint statement, and fix the date and place for their next meeting.

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