Poland troops to leave Iraq in 2006

Poland has said it wants to see its troops out of Iraq in early 2006 after the UN mandate on the multinational force in Iraq expires.

    Poland leads a multinational force of troops in central Iraq

    "It is the government's opinion that together with the end of the UN mandate for the stabilization mission, all the activity of the Polish stabilization mission should also end," said Poland's Defence Minister on Tuesday.

    Jerzy Szmajdzinski said that after the resolution expired at the end of the year, it would take "a few weeks" for all the troops and equipment to return to Poland.

    However, he said the Polish mission could be extended if the UN Security Council voted for a new mandate for the next year or if the Iraqi government asked Poland to keep its troops in the country.

    While Polish officials have indicated their forces would leave after the resolution expires, Szmajdzinski's remarks were the most definite about when that might happen.

    Szmajdzinski said his statement reflected the position of the Polish Cabinet, and would need to be confirmed by President Aleksander Kwasniewski.

    Poland commands a multinational force of about 4700 troops in three provinces in central Iraq. Poland itself has 1700 troops in Iraq, a presence that is unpopular in Poland.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.