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Azerbaijan: Peacekeeping Contingent in Afghanistan Will Be Doubled

(Sept. 29, 2008) On September 18, 2008, the Security and Defense Committee of the Parliament of Azerbaijan unanimously approved amendments to the Law on Participation in Peacekeeping Operations in Afghanistan, which were introduced in the legislature by the Azerbaijani President Ilhom Aliyev. The goal of the proposed bill is to double the Azerbaijani contingent in Afghanistan and bring it up to 90 servicemen, with an extra platoon added to the force as soon as the proposed law is adopted. Passage of the law is expected in early October; based on the nation's past legislative practice, laws proposed by the President and approved in the Committee are generally passed by the plenary legislative session without substantial changes. At present, 45 Azerbaijani peacekeepers serve as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force within Turkey's armed forces detachment and are assigned to patrol the streets of Kabul. (Parliamentary Committee Approves Draft Law to Double Peacekeepers in Afghanistan, TREND DAILY NEWS, Sept. 18, 2008, published in 27 NEWSLETTER OF THE EMBASSY OF AZERBAIJAN TO THE UNITED STATES (Sept. 19, 2008), available via email from [email protected].)