Report: Czech cabinet approved extra troops for Afghanistan

Other News Materials 11 April 2008 17:24 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The Czech cabinet Wednesday approved a confidential proposal to deploy special forces to Afghanistan, Mlada Fronta Dnes daily reported Friday citing to a high-ranking Czech diplomatic source.

A mid-level government official confirmed to Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa on condition of anonymity that the cabinet discussed the deployment Wednesday. "The reports are correct," the official said.

The cabinet has so far declined to confirm whether the decision was made. After the cabinet session Wednesday, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek refused to comment on the matter.

"If the government were to approve such a proposal it would be published after a discussion in parliamentary committees," cabinet spokeswoman Jana Bartosova said.

The Czech Republic was in talks with the United States about deploying around 100 special-forces troops to Afghanistan where they would serve under US-led operation Enduring Freedom, Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova said earlier.

Currently 334 Czech soldiers serve in three NATO-led missions in Afghanistan. The parliament allowed sending up to 415 troops to the operations in 2008.

The deployment of the special forces, who had already served in Afghanistan in 2004 and 2006, requires separate approval. CTK news agency reported that lawmakers could take up the proposal later in April.