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Slovenia plans to boost military presence in Kosovo
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-04-11 14:53
Slovenia is planning to dramatically boost its military presence in Kosovo from the current 95 soldiers to some 640 servicemen next year, Slovenian Defense Minister Karl Erjavec said on Monday.

Slovenia plans to send a 128-strong transport unit to Kosovo this year, Erjavec said when he visited the fire and civil protection service in the Slovenian town of Sezana, the Slovene Press Agency reported.

Erjavec said Slovenia might send a motorized battalion to Kosovo next year, which would increase the country's military presence in Kosovo to some 640 servicemen.

Legally still part of Serbia-Montenegro, Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since mid-1999. The talks about Kosovo's future status have been launched earlier this year and are under the pressure to be concluded this year.

Slovenia, the first former Yugoslav republic to join the EU, has regarded itself as the insider on the Balkan issue, including the Kosovo problem.

Earlier on Monday, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said in Brussels that Slovenia is interested in taking part in a special planning team that will help shape the future role of the EU in Kosovo.

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