Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   12 December

POLISH WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ NO TO AFFECT ARMENIAN PLATOON


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS:Arthur Aghabekian, chairman of a parliament committee on defense and security issues, said today that Poland’s decision to pull out its troops from Iraq next year will have no impact on Armenia’s decision to have its 46-member non-combat platoon in Iraq for 12 months more. Asked to comment on reports that Poland plans to withdraw its troops next year Aghabekian said Armenian platoon in Iraq is part of a U.S.-led coalition mission although it is under the Polish command there. Armenian parliament voted on December 4 to extend the presence of the platoon in Iraq for another 12 months until 2008 December 31. Armenia sent a small force to Iraq three years ago despite strong domestic opposition stemming from fears of terrorist reprisals against the war-torn nation’s Armenian community. The 46 Armenian sappers, military doctors and other non-combat army personnel rotated every six months have been serving there as part of a Polish-led multinational division.



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