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President Traian Basescu Goes To Afghanistan To Meet With Romanian Troops
Romanian President Traian Basescu, Defense Minister Gabriel Oprea and U.S. Ambassador to Romania Mark Gitenstein arrived in Afghanistan Tuesday to meet with the Romanian troops deployed in the area.
Basescu last visited the Romanian troops stationed in Afghanistan in March 2010. Back then, he told the troops their mission is to protect the civilized world from terrorism, adding he hopes their military mission in the area will end successfully during his second term as president of Romania.
End-October 2010, Basescu said at the NATO headquarters in Brussels that Romania would send 66 gendarmes to Afghanistan soon to help the country's institutional reconstruction. He also said a first contingent of Afghan officers was to arrive in Romania for training.
The Romanian head of state pointed out at the time that 12 scholarships had been granted to afghan students in civilian universities, adding Romania would continue to increase the number of scholarships for young Afghans.
Romania has 1,663 troops deployed in Afghanistan, of which 1,655 under NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Over the past years, 17 Romanian troops have been killed and 55 others have been injured in Afghanistan.
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