Bulgarian 300-Strong Unit Pulls out of Kandahar AirportDefense | October 2, 2012, Tuesday // 09:59| views
Bulgaria plans to withdraw its rangers in the NATO security mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Photo by BGNES
A welcome ceremony was held in Bulgaria for a 300-strong military unit, which arrived back home after serving as part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
The unit provided security at Kandahar Airport under the commandment of Major Mitko Baltov.
"You did a wonderful job, which has been assessed highly. This is important because as an ally we should be where we are needed most," Deputy Defence Minister Avgustina Tsvetkova said at the ceremony.
Bulgaria has deployed more than 600 troops in Afghanistan guarding the airports in Kabul and Kandahar, and a medical unit in the Herat province.
The country plans to withdraw its rangers in the NATO security mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
At the beginning of the year and his term Bulgarian new President Rosen Plevneliev unexpectedly arrived on a surprise visit to Afghanistan on February 29.
Plevneliev's trip to Afghanistan was his second official state visit abroad after his inauguration on January 22, 2012, when he replaced two-term Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov. Plevneliev's first foreign visit was to Brussels.
The Bulgarian President was received immediately by the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.
Plevneliev has expressed Bulgaria's desire to build a hospital in Afghanistan's capital Kabul, and the Afghan authorities have promised to provide the land.