Georgia, Tbilisi, Dec. 20 / Trend N. Kirtskhalia /
Georgia's parliament voted 103-1 Tuesday in favor of President Mikheil Saakashvili's appeal to send an additional infantry battalion to Afghanistan to join 936 Georgian soldiers who already serve as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by NATO.
After sending one more battalion - that is 749 soldiers - Georgia will become the largest non-NATO contributor to the Afghan operation with a total of 1,685 troops. Currently it is Australia who has the largest non-NATO contingent to ISAF mission at 1,550 troops.
Georgia, whose troops operate without restriction, has lost ten soldiers in
Afghanistan - all in the Helmand Province.
Georgia's first contribution to the military campaign in Afghanistan came in 2004 when 50 soldiers were briefly deployed in the country under the German command providing security during the presidential elections.