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The Polish prime minister met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Baghdad on 22 December (epa)
27 December 2005 -- Poland's cabinet today voted to ask President Lech Kaczynski to extend the mandate of Polish troops in Iraq for another year, until the end of 2006.
Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz made the announcement at a news conference in Warsaw today. It reverses the previous government's decision to bring Polish troops home within the next few weeks.
However, Deputy Defense Minister Stanislaw Koziej said Poland's troop levels will be cut in March to 900, from the current 1,500.
Ukraine's Defense Ministry, meanwhile, announced that the last Ukrainian troops serving in Iraq have left the country, fulfilling a pledge by the country's government to withdraw all troops by the end of the year.
Bulgaria's defense minister also announced today that the last 130 Bulgarian troops belonging to the U.S.-led force in Iraq have left the country.
The Multinational Force in Iraq on December 15, 2005, released official images of the voting in the legislative elections. To view a slideshow of their photographs, click on the image.
To see RFE/RL's special webpage about the election, click here.