Azerbaijan, Baku, 7 March / corr. Trend K. Ramazanova/ The special envoy of NATO, discussed in Baku, the proposal to increase the number of Azerbaijani peacekeepers in Afghanistan.
"This issue is one of the key issues in the agenda of Organization," Robert Simons, the NATO special envoy on South Caucasus said in Baku on 7 March.
In Jan 2008, Azerbaijan sent an additional 23 peacekeepers to Afghanistan increasing the number of contingent up to 45. Azerbaijani military contingent takes part in the military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. Majority of Azerbaijani peacekeepers (150) serve in Iraq. The meeting of Azerbaijani parliament, held on 4 March, decided to withdraw Azerbaijani peacekeepers from Kosovo due to the political situation that appeared after the province declared its independence unilaterally from Serbia. Azerbaijani peacekeepers serving in the composition of Turkish peace-keeping forces controls 18 villages of Kosovo.
Simons said that Azerbaijan can contribute to the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan as well. According to Simons, he discussed the increase in number of peace-keepers in Afghanistan during his meeting with Elmar Mammadyarov- Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan.