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Latvia should send troops to Africa conflict, says minister

Jan 13, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

Latvian soldiers should take part in the international operation in the Central African Republic, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks has said.

Pabriks told the LETA news agency that has discussed this matter with German and French ambassadors.

Nevertheless, greater clarity on the operation's details is required to decide on Latvia's participation in the operation, adds the minister. The final decision rests with the new government, the  minister said. 

Meanwhile. Estonia and Lithuania have agreed to take part in the operation, but these countries are also waiting to find out what kind of participation is required.

Latvia's situation is more difficult due to the government formation process whilst participation in the operation will most likely require approval from Saeima and the Cabinet of Ministers, explains Pabriks.

It will be very difficult for Latvia not to take part in the operation as Latvia is a member of the European Union and it is important for Latvia to take part not only in NATO missions, but also in EU and UN mission.

The operation will last at least a year and Latvia will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union next year. It would not be good if the bloc's presiding country did not take part in such operations, points out Pabriks.

Pabriks does not deny that it is difficult for Latvia to send its soldiers to such operations, therefore it is important to have detailed information, says the minister. This could come in about one month, he added.
 

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