Defense Minister visits soldiers in Iraq

  • 2004-07-01
  • By The Baltic Times
VILNIUS – Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius arrived in Iraq on Monday morning, becoming the first high official of any NATO member state that has visited the country since last week's handover of power from the American occupational forces to a local Iraqi administration.

Linkevicius will meet with leaders of the international coalition force still in the country and with Lithuanian troops serving as part of that force.
A meeting between Linkevicius and members of the new Iraqi government is also planned.
Linkevicius and his delegation arrived in the country on a Latvian-owned cargo plane carrying over a ton of logistical supplies that will be used by the Lithuanian armed forces units serving there as part of the U.N.-mandated mission to help the new Iraqi government provide security.
Upon the plane's touchdown at Baghdad Airport, Linkevicius was flown to an undisclosed location in southern Iraq for a meeting with Polish military commanders.
Over 50 Lithuanian troops of the Grand Duchess Birute Battalion are serving in southern Iraq alongside British forces.
Linkevicius last visited Iraq this winter, when he met with members of the U.S. provisional administration, including Proconsul Paul Bremer.