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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Armenia extends term of military contingent in Iraq

RIA Novosti

06/12/2006 14:20 YEREVAN, December 6 (RIA Novosti) - Armenia's parliament voted Wednesday to extend its military presence in Iraq by 12 months.

Armenia's legislature ratified December 24, 2004 a memorandum on the dispatch of a peacekeeping contingent to Iraq for a term of 12 months. In 2005, Armenia's national assembly extended the contingent's mission in Iraq for another 12 months.

Serzh Sarkisyan, the Armenian defense minister, earlier said Armenia's participation in the peacekeeping mission in Iraq gave the republic additional leverage in its relations with international organizations to protect its interests.

Sarkisyan added that Armenian servicemen were carrying out a humanitarian mission in Iraq and were not directly engaged in combat operations.

The proposal by the Armenian president to extend the term of the republic's peacekeeping mission in Iraq was supported by 85 MPs, with 19 votes against and one abstention.

The Armenian peacekeeping contingent in Iraq comprises three staff officers, two military doctors, an engineering unit (10 men) and a transport platoon (31 drivers).

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