Latvian troop stay in Afghanistan to be extended

The mandate of Latvian troops participating in the NATO-led international operation in Afghanistan is to be extended until December 31, 2016, according to the agenda of the Latvian government for the Cabinet meeting on November 17, reported BNS newswire Thursday.

NATO's role in Afghanistan after 2014 has changed, with the Alliance providing training and consultations to the local national security forces.

NATO launched Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan in January 2015 based on the Afghan government's request expressed in the bilateral agreement with NATO. The Alliance plans to continue the operation in 2016.

With a December 4, 2014 resolution the Latvian parliament approved participation of Latvian soldiers in Operation Resolute Support until December 31, 2015.

Considering that the Latvian government has confirmed willingness to provide for continued presence of Latvian troops in Afghanistan, a new parliamentary resolution extending the Latvian contingent’s mandate in Afghanistan is required.

Latvia's involvement in the operation in Afhganistan is expected to remain at its present level. In 2015 Latvia sent 25 soldiers for participation in the international mission in Afghanistan.

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