Lithuania to send up to 40 soldiers to Mali

Lithuania intends to deploy up to 40 soldiers to Mali, as part of its military assistance program to France, the Lithuanian Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs decided Friday.
“Until now it was up to 20 soldiers, but we mandated to increase the number to 40,” Benediktas Juodka, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, was quoted as saying by ELTA news agency after the meeting.
The Baltic country’s soldiers will join the United Nation’s mission in Mali in 2016. The mission will begin on Jan. 1, 2016 and last until Dec. 31, 2017.
Lithuanian parliament will soon vote on the draft resolution concerning the participation of Lithuanian soldiers in various international missions, ELTA reported.
Meanwhile, Lithuania’s Minister of National Defense Juozas Olekas met with Philippe Jeantaud, French ambassador to Lithuania. The minister expressed Lithuania’s support to French efforts to intensify campaign against ISIS.
“We are ready to contribute according to our capabilities in order to facilitate the task of French forces,” Olekas was quoted as saying in a statement.
Ambassador Jeantaud said he welcomed Lithuania’s higher involvement in operations taking place in Mali or Central African Republic.

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