Albania sends additional troops to Iraq

Sept. 5, 2008 at 5:59 PM
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TIRANA, Albania, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha attended a ceremony marking the deployment of an additional 120 peacekeepers and soldiers to Iraq.

The deployment brings the total number of Albanian forces in Iraq to 240, centered mostly in Mosul and Baghdad.

Berisha said the deployment is a reflection of the Albanian tradition of ensuring peace and stability in greater Europe and the world.

"We are proud of you and of the brilliant cooperation with the U.S.A. and the American Army," the premier told the departing troops in a ceremony in the Albanian capital, Tirana.

Albania has taken part in several NATO-led missions in Afghanistan, as well as European missions in Bosnia.

We "are convinced that free people should make a contribution to freedom and the universal values so that they become a reality for the citizens all over the world," the prime minister said.

The ceremony was attended by top Albanian defense officials and the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Stephen Cristina.

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