Macedonia to send 12 servicemen to Afghanistan for NATO-led mission

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-26 19:15:10|Editor: xuxin
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SKOPJE, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Macedonia will send 12 servicemen to Afghanistan in November on a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led mission, Macedonian Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska said Thursday.

Speaking in front of the Parliament's Defense and Security Committee, the defense minister said the servicemen will participate in the missions for six months in the Train, Advice and Assist Command-West, part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

She said that the funding for compensation and wages will be covered by Macedonia, whereas transport, accommodation and food costs are provided by partner countries.

Apart from the 12 servicemen that will be deployed in Afghanistan, Macedonia will also take part in the European Union-led military operation ALTHEA for six months with one staff officer in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sekerinska said.

"The decision for us to participate in the missions is reached in the Parliament, but it is a fact that our army in the name of interoperability and NATO membership will have to have more troops in NATO-led missions," said Sekerinska.

In July, during the NATO summit in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the military bloc's decision to invite the Macedonian government to start accession talks.

On Aug. 21, the Macedonian government received the guidelines it needs to meet the NATO accession conditions within a period of 18 months. The document included a number of political, economic, security and judicial conditions that should be implemented by April 2020.