Azerbaijan Likely to Expand Peacekeepers in Afghanistan and Iraq
Azerbaijan, Baku, 6 March / corr. Trend I.Alizade / Azerbaijan, which recalled the peacekeepers from Kosovo, is likely to increase its peacekeeping contingent in Afghanistan and Iraq. "I do not rule out possibility of increasing the number of Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Afghanistan and Iraq," Kamil Khasiyev, the Azerbaijani Ambassador to NATO, stated in talks with journalists on 6 March.
Some 150 Azerbaijani peacekeepers serve in Iraq as part of the Multi-national Forces, and 34 serve in Kosovo. Azerbaijani peacekeepers control 18 Kosovo villages. Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Kosovo serve as part of the Armed Forces of Turkey.
In addition, 45 Azerbaijani peacekeepers serve as part of the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan.
An Azerbaijani Parliamentary meeting on 4 March made the decision to withdraw Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Kosovo due to the political situation which emerged after the independence of this province and the province's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia.
The Ambassador said that Azerbaijan will continue to participate its peace-keeping in conflict regions.