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Romania: Parliament Approves Deployment Of 678 Soldiers To Iraq

Bucharest, 19 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The Romanian parliament today approved unanimously the deployment of 678 peacekeepers to Iraq. The soldiers, including infantrymen, infrastructure technicians, and military policemen, are to be deployed in the British sector in southern Iraq.

Romania is spending approximately $38 million on the deployment, or 3.5 percent of the country's annual defense budget.

The country is to receive $25 million of military aid this year from the United States, $15 million of which is related to Romania's commitments in the Iraq conflict.

Also today, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase said Romania was ready to host NATO bases on its territory.

The U.S. military used a Romanian Black Sea air base for logistics during the Iraq War.