Bulgarian Infantry Unit Ready to Leave for Iraq by May 26

Politics | April 18, 2003, Friday // 00:00

Bulgarian infantry unit will be ready to leave for Iraq on May 26, said General Nikola Kolev, Chief of the General Staff of the Bulgarian Armed Forces.

USA asked Bulgaria to deploy ground troops instead of a chemical unit on the territory of Iraq after the end of the military actions.

General Kolev explained that the unit that Bulgaria is to send to Iraq has been mistakenly called by politicians "security troops". He explained that it will be engaged in guarding, patrolling and other duties.

General Nikola Kolev cited financial reasons for the deployment of a company and not a larger unit to Iraq.

Military officials have suggested changes in the scheme of financing using the experience of countries, which have taken part in peacekeeping operations. Kolev underlined that these countries have separate resources in their state budgets, managed by three ministers.

Financing for the Bulgarian missions in Kossovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan is included in this year's Defence Ministry budget. No additional financing has been released for the chemical unit that had to be deployed in a neighbouring to Iraq country.

General Nikola Kolev presented Friday a proposal for disbanding the Bulgarian contingent in Musachevo, where it has been stationed. He has also suggested that the soldiers from the Bulgarian unit for a chemical and biological defense that was to be deployed in a neighbouring to Iraq country receive financial compensations.

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