Azerbaijan to Double Its Peacekeepers in Afghanistan
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend I.Alizade / The Chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament's Security and Defense Commission, First Vice Speaker, Ziyafet Askerov, said on 4 October that the number of the Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Afghanistan is planned to be increased from 22 to 44.
According to him, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, presented a project on this issue to the Parliament of Azerbaijan.
On 15 November 2002 the Parliament of Azerbaijan gave its consent to send Azerbaijani peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan and their participation in the peacekeeping operations in the composition of the Armed Forces of Turkey under general commander of the NATO.
The member of the Security and Defense Commission, Panah Huseyn, sad that currently the situation in Afghanistan is more complicated compared to the previous period. Therefore, several countries withdraw their troops. "Is it believable to increase the number of the Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Afghanistan under such situation," he questioned.
As a response, the First Vice Speaker said that this issue has been fully studied. According to him, nothing serious has happened to the the Azerbaijani peacemakers in Afghanistan and the local residents positively approach them. "The Head of NATO also appealed to Azerbaijan for assisting in establishing peace in Afghanistan and sending additional troops for it. The President considers it acceptable," Askerov said.
The project was recommended to be discussed in the Parliament.