Bulgaria Formally Moves to Pull Out Troops from Afghanistan

Defense | January 16, 2013, Wednesday // 13:54|  views

Bulgarian military advisers in Afghanistan present gifts to Afghan kids during a Christmas party at the end of 2012. Photo by Defense Ministry

Bulgaria's Cabinet is adopted a long anticipated decision to terminate partly the Bulgarian military mission in the NATO-led ISAF forces in Afghanistan.

The decision came in accordance with strategy for transformation of Bulgaria's participation in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, which was adopted by the government at the end of 2011, following a decision by the USA under President Barack Obama's plan for a major withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014.

Bulgaria's military presence in Afghanistan initially consisted of 530 rangers, and was later boosted to 600.

Under the partial pullout plan adopted by the Borisov Cabinet, as of December 31, 2012, Bulgaria is pulling out its medical teams and specialists from Afghanistan's Heart province; as of March 1, 2013, it is supposed to start bringing back its company guarding the airport in Kabul, and as of March 31, 2013 – its team of military instructors.

By the end of 2014 Bulgaria will continue to maintain its security company guarding the interior zone at the Kandahar Airport as well its teams of advisers to the local security forces.

After 2014, Bulgaria will continue its participation in NATO's mission in Afghanistan only with teams of advisers stationed on the ground with the Afghan security forces and the local authorities.

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Tags: Afghanistan, Afghan army, withdrawal, pullout, Bulgarin missions, Defense Ministry, Bulgarian rangers, Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, military advisers


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