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Lithuania withdraws its military leadership from Ghor province in Afghanistan

August 26, 2013, 15:57 UTC+3

The Baltic country plans to retain partial presence, such as in Kandahar

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VILNIUS, August 26. (Itar-Tass) – Lithuania has passed responsibility for security of the Ghor province to Afghan authorities, thus ending their military operation, in which the country headed an international NATO group in this region, said the Baltic nation’s Defense Ministry.

“The largest international operation entrusted to Lithuania by NATO is over. We believe that objectives set for the NATO group team members were accomplished,” highlighted Lithuania’s Defense Minister Juozas Olekas, who is currently in Adghanistan.

Vilnius has transferred the Ghor province NATO mission camp, located in Chaghcharan, to Afghan armed forces. Part of armaments located in the camp will be shipped to Lithuania; a part will be left behind to be used by Afghan forces.

Olekas reminded that this approach is used by all countries participating in NATO’s international military operation.

Lithuanian troops, which deployed 17 contingents to Gohr throughout their mission, will return home within this week.

However, Lithuania will keep its personnel in Afghanistan in Kandahar where Aitvaras, the nations spec ops team is stationed. A group of Lithuanian helicopter pilot trainers also remains in the country.

Lithuania has been heading the Ghor NATO group since 2005; since 2007 it was the sole country financing its operation. Apart from 150 Lithuanian servicemen, lately military and civilian experts from Georgia, Denmark, Iceland, United States, Ukraine, Croatia and Japan.

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