NATO continues Afghanistan mission, Croatia to increase its contingent

Participants in the two-day NATO summit meeting in Warsaw confirmed on Saturday that the alliance would continue performing its duties in the peace mission in Afghanistan after 2016, and Croatia will increase its contingent by some 20 more troops.  

"Croatia's parliament has already endorsed the decision on increasing the deployment of our soldiers in that mission. We will continue participating in all forms of that mission and step up activities" said Croatia's Defence Minister Josip Buljevic, who was in Croatia's delegation at the summit meeting in the Polish capital.

Croatia's lawmakers have recently okayed the proposal for an increase of the 70-strong contingent to 95 troops.

Buljevic said that the number of Croatian troops would be determined according to the needs on the ground in Afghanistan, and this would be within the figures approved by the parliament.

"NATO leaders, joined today (9 July 2016) by leaders from Resolute Support partner countries at the Warsaw Summit, have reaffirmed their commitment to the long-term security and stability of Afghanistan," according to information on NATO's web site.

On Friday, the summit decided to bolster eastern flank of NATO with four new battalions, and they will be deployed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and in Poland.

Croatia will contribute to NATO's presence in Eastern Europe most probably with one company that will be integrated in a German-Dutch contingent, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was heading a state delegation attending a NATO summit in Warsaw, said on Friday.

Minister Buljevic said that Croatia had expressed its readiness to send a company to help increase the military presence in NATO's eastern flank and added that this decision must be approved by the national parliament. He said that it was too early to specify where exactly the Croatian company might be stationed.

Last update: Sat, 09/07/2016 - 14:00

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