Foreign Minister: Afghanistan Key for Bulgarian Defense

Foreign Minister: Afghanistan Key for Bulgarian Defense

Afghanistan is the main front of Bulgaria's national security, according to the Balkan country's Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov.

"This is because we should not leave any place on earth to be a comfortable zone for international terrorism, resulting in innocent people getting killed," Minister Mladenov commented, stating that security in Afghanistan would also eliminate potential threats in Bulgaria and the rest of EU.

At present, the Bulgarian contingents in Afghanistan, numbering 600 troops, are based in three locations - Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. Taliban rocket attacks on the Kandahar base, the outer perimeter of which is guarded by UK soldiers, are very common with up to 400 reported in 2009.

Bulgaria will additionally send to Afghanistan 3 more training teams to help NATO's ISAF goal to gather 2 000 experts to train Afghani military forces; it has 5 open positions for Bulgarian policemen in the country; and would also assist in the building of the capacity of the local government to lead its own State.

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