Azerbaijan to pull troops from Kosovo - official

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has asked parliament to vote to withdraw the ex-Soviet country's peacekeepers from Kosovo, an Azeri official said on Thursday.

Azerbaijan to pull troops from Kosovo - official
Aliyev submitted the initiative to a parliamentary committee this week, and the vote is expected on March 4. The proposal is expected to pass into law with little opposition.

Azerbaijan has had 33 soldiers serving in Kosovo since 1999 with a Turkish battalion under NATO command.

Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said Kosovo's recent declaration of independence from Serbia had "sharply changed the political scene".

"Azerbaijan, as well as a host of other NATO partner-countries, is now re-examining the position of its peacekeeping platoon," Azimov told reporters.

Azimov said his country was not changing its relationship with NATO, where it cooperates in educational exchanges and joint troop training, and Baku had recently doubled its commitment to the alliance's presence in Afghanistan.

Agencies
Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Şubat 2008, 16:05
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