Lithuania to continue involvement in Iraqi mission

August 9, 2007 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

Lithuanian soldiers in Iraq 

The President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus assured today that Lithuania will continue its involvement in the international coalition’s operation Iraqi Freedom.  “We are positive that our contribution in Iraq will serve in combating terror and will bear witness to our country’s maturity in fighting against international security challenges.”

According to the press release from the president’s press service, during meetings with high-ranking US officials, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas and Defense Minister Juozas Olekas, who are visiting Washington this week, confirmed once again that Lithuania will continue its presence in the international operation in Iraq by sending another fighting unit.

The talk of Lithuania\s withdrawal from Iraq intensified when Vilnius informed that Lithuania started considering a possibility not to send relief for the LITCON-9 squad that is finishing its mission in August and to keep troops serving in the training mission and allied headquarters as Lithuania’s only military presence in Iraq. The squad was based in the South of Iraq within the Danish troops. Lithuania so far has no intentions to send any relief for it but is considering every possibility to continue its involvement in the mission, sending troops to fighting units as well.

As the undersecretary of the Defence Ministry Renatas Norkus told BNS “Really, as the Danish battalion is returning from Iraq, where our squad was deployed, no new squad is scheduled for dispatch as the battalion in which our troops used to serve is no longer in South Iraq. However, Lithuania is considering all proposals from the allies and allows that it might continue its involvement with fighting forces as well.”

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Iraq, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Politics, USA.

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