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Minister of National Defence paid visit to Afghanistan

2009.03.28
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Minister of National Defence Rasa Jukneviciene, Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt. Gen. Valdas Tutkus, and their delegation of representatives of the Government and Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania started their visit in Afghanistan on March 27.

This is the first time Rasa Jukneviciene as Minister of National Defence visits area of international mission Lithuanian troops have been deployed to.

During the visit delegation will meet with military and civilian personnel of the Lithuania-led Chaghcharan Reconstruction Team (PRT-8), and will go on to visit troops of the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces Squadron serving in Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

In the framework of the visit Lithuanian delegation will meet with NATO ISAF authorities and members of Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for a discussion over political and security situation in Afghanistan.

Members of Seimas and Government of Lithuania will measure the efficiency of application of Lithuania's budgetary resources for international operations and take interest in the soldiers' anticipations and needs when deployed on international operations. According to the Minister, it will be her objective to achieve that resources allocated for the country's defence and international operations would be used transparently and effectively in accordance to relevant legislation. R. Jukneviciene underscores that optimal and well-balanced employment of financial resources has become an important point in the context of declined economy and decreased defence budget seeking to continue proper financing of the country's national defence priorities, including international operations.

Currently 120 troops of Lithuanian Armed Forces are deployed with NATO ISAF PRt mission in Ghowr and another 20 serve in various ISAF commands throughout Afghanistan. Squadron of Special Operations Forces is deployed to ISAF operation together with forces of other allies in the south of Afghanistan, province of Kandahar.

PR of the Minister of National Defence, Danguole Bickauskiene

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