Camp Ashraf – Bulgarian Mission in Iraq Likely To Be Terminated

Defence Minister Vesselin Bliznakov and the Chief of Army Staff Zlatan Stoykov returned safely from a visit to Iraq, where they met troops providing security at the Ashraf camp.

Bulgaria’s non-combat unit is 154-strong and guards the Ashraf refugee cam, located 60 kilometers north of Baghdad.

It is not certain whether Bulgaria will continue its mission in Iraq, Defence Minister Vesselin Bliznakov said after he returned from his visit to Iraq.

The Bulgarian unit’s mission is due to end on 31 March 2007. But it is still not certain whether the mission will be continued because that depends on the whether the USA will extend an invitation for that.

In order for our unit to continue its mission in Iraq the USA have to send the invitation at the beginning of 2007 so that the parliament can have time to discuss and adopt the resolution, Bliznakov said.

The political decision should be made after a serious analysis has been carried out, he said.

There is no risk of Bulgaria undertaking too many commitments without being able to provide for them, he added.

Vesselin Bliznakov returned safely from a visit to Iraq, where he met troops providing security at the Ashraf camp.

Sofia Weekly, December 4, 2006

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