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Georgia Confirms Readiness To Boost Iraq Force

Georgian troops in Iraq in October 2006 (epa) March 9, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has confirmed that his country is prepared to the number of his country's troops in Iraq to 2,000, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reported.

Saakashvili said the increase should last one year.

Georgia currently has 850 troops serving in Iraq.

Saakashvili made his comments today in Tokyo, where he is on an official visit.

"Georgians must demonstrate to everybody, that we do not shy away from a difficult situation," Saakashvili said. "We are ready to stick to our principles until the end. However, I'm saying this now, but we should also understand that we are talking about a limited period of time. What we are talking about is that for now, we are ready to increase our military presence in Baghdad up to 2,000 [troops], to help in bringing order to Baghdad, and this should continue approximately for one year."

Saakashvili also said Georgia was willing to send 100 troops to Afghanistan to assist the NATO mission there.

(with material from agency reports)

The International Coalition In Iraq

The International Coalition In Iraq
Georgian soldiers marking Georgian Independence Day in Baghdad on June 6 (epa)

COALITION MEMBERS: In addition to the United States, 28 countries are Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) contributors as of May 31, 2006: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Fiji is participating as part of the UN mission in Iraq. Hungary, Iceland, Slovenia, and Turkey are NATO countries supporting Iraqi stability operations but are not part of MNF-I.

NON-U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL IN IRAQ: United Kingdom, 8,000 as of May 26, 2006; South Korea, 3,237 as of May 9, 2006; Italy, 2,900 as of April 27, 2006; Poland, 900 as of May 30, 2006; Australia, 900 as of March 28, 2006; Georgia, 900 as of March 24, 2006; Romania, 860 as of April 27, 2006; Japan, 600 as of May 30, 2006; Denmark, 530 as of May 23, 2006; All others, 1,140.

(Source: The Washington-based Brooking Institution’s Iraq Index of June 15, 2006)

THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

RADIO FREE IRAQ: To visit the Arab-language website of RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq, click here.

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