Bulgarian Govt Racks Brains on How to Get Out of Afghanistan

Defense | July 15, 2011, Friday // 14:42|  views

Bulgarian Defense Minister Angelov (right) has declared the government is mulling ways to pull out of Afghanistan. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's government has not stopped poring over a possible strategy to pull out its forces from Afghanistan, or to transform its mission there, according to Defense Minister Anyu Angelov.

Angelov has explained that the closer Afghanistan comes to a takeover of its security by the Afghan security forces, the more the Bulgarian government is considering its pullout options.

Bulgaria currently has about 600 rangers within the NATO-led ISAF mission stationed at the airports in Kabul and Kandahar, as well as medical units in Helmand.

"We are considering our strategy and together with the Foreign Ministry we have created a working group mulling over actions about the gradual withdrawal of the Bulgarian troops from Afghanistan, as well as a specific transformation of our mission there," the Defense Minister told reporters in Sofia Friday, as cited by the Cross news agency.

Angelov, however, has emphasized that at present there is no way to determine a precise deadline for the withdrawal of the Bulgarian rangers from Afghanistan, neither does the government have a clear idea of how to go about it.

He said that the gradual retreat could start by withdrawing part of one of Bulgaria's airport security units, and using the remaining part of the same unit to train Afghan security forces.

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Tags: Afghanistan, Kandahar, Kabul, Anyu Angelov, Defense Minister, Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, rangers, Bulgarian mission in Afghanistan, Bulgarian rangers, pullout, withdrawal


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