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Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö (BR) posed for a photo during a meeting of the Northern Group in Helsinki on 7 November, 2017.
Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö (BR) posed for a photo during a meeting of the Northern Group in Helsinki on 7 November, 2017.

 

The United States has asked Finland to send more troops to Afghanistan, says Jussi Niinistö (BR), the Minister of Defence.

Niinistö on Tuesday revealed that the issue was discussed during length at his meeting with James Mattis, the United States Secretary of Defence, adding that Finland will consequently determine “if it is possible to raise the number of troops and, if so, what kind of troops are needed”.

The Finnish government has a mandate to deploy up to 40 troops in the conflict-torn region but has reduced the number of troops committed to the Nato Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan to 30. A decision to deploy more than the mandated number of troops, he added, would require not only the approval of the Parliament but also that the requisite funding is found.

“It has been one of the most expensive missions we’ve participated in,” reminded Niinistö.

The Finnish Defence Command is shortly expected to present its assessment of the type of troops that are required in Afghanistan, if the political will raise the number of troops in the country is found.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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