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NATO: Alliance Authorizes Deployment Of New Force To Macedonia


Brussels, 27 September 2001 (RFE/RL) -- NATO's ruling council today authorized the deployment of a new force to Macedonia to protect international observers monitoring the implementation of a peace plan between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians. The new force, requested by Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, will consist of about 700 troops under German command, supported by about 300 other NATO troops already in the country.

In Berlin earlier today the German government approved the mission, and the German parliament is expected to do so soon.

The duration of Operation Amber Fox will be three months, with the option of prolonging it depending on circumstances.

The new NATO deployment to Macedonia follows the end of a mission in which about 4,500 allied troops spent a month collecting weapons voluntarily surrendered by ethnic Albanian rebels. That mission officially ended on 26 September.

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