RIGA - Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (For Development) and National Armed Forces Commander Leonids Kalnins have met with soldiers who will soon be deployed for duty at the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan and the European Union Training Mission in Mali, the Ministry of Defense's Press Office informed LETA.
The soldiers were presented with a Latvian flag and a loaf of rye bread at the traditional farewell ceremony.
The NATO training operation Resolute Support, in which Latvia participates, was launched on January 1, 2015. In mid-2013, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) transferred responsibility for security throughout the country to the Afghan National Security Forces.
Latvian soldiers have been deployed to several bases in Afghanistan, where they serve as advisers and instructors at various levels, training and supporting the Afghan army.
Meanwhile, the European Union Training Mission is intended to help improve the military capabilities of the Malian Armed Forces. Latvian soldiers are not involved in combat operations.
Currently, Latvia is also participating, to varying degrees, in the counter-terrorism operation in Iraq, the UN-led stabilization operation in Mali and the European Union naval operation in the Mediterranean.