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Iraq: Meeting To Discuss Polish Role in Iraq Stabilization

Warsaw, 22 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Representatives from about 15 countries are scheduled to hold a closed-door meeting in Poland today to discuss troop contributions to a Polish-led stabilization force in Iraq. Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria are among the countries that are reportedly sending representatives to the talks, which will take place at an undisclosed location.

Polish military officials say they are ready to send between 1,500 and 2,000 troops as part of the force requested by the United States. But it is seeking help from other nations to build a force of about 7,000 soldiers to work between a U.S.-run northern and a British-controlled southern stabilization zone.

Yesterday in Brussels, NATO member countries unanimously agreed to help Poland run the sector. The NATO assistance is expected to involve intelligence sharing, communications, and logistics.