Friday, February 20, 2009

Georgia to send 100 soldiers to Afghanistan

Georgia's foreign minister says the ex-Soviet nation will send 100 soldiers to Afghanistan to serve alongside U.S. and NATO forces.

Grigol Vashadze says in comments broadcast by Georgia's Rustavi television that soldiers will be deployed in the near future. Vashadze spoke during a trip to Krakow, Poland, where he's attending a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

Georgian Defense Ministry spokeswoman Rusiko Simakuridze said Thursday that the deployment's date will be announced soon.

Georgia, a U.S. ally, contributed 2,000 soldiers to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. They were withdrawn last August amid a war with Russia.

Georgia briefly deployed 50 soldiers to Afghanistan in 2004 and sent troops to a NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

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