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Bulgarian Parties Half-Agree On Iraq

Members of the parliament's Foreign Policy Committee agreed on 22 April that the current mandate of the Bulgarian military contingent stationed in Karbala, Iraq, must not be changed nor the troops withdrawn, mediapool.bg reported.

Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov, Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi, and Chief of General Staff General Nikola Kolev reported to the committee. However, the conservative opposition coalition United Democratic Forces (ODS), led by former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov, repeated their demand for a new parliamentary decision that would describe the troops' mandate in greater detail.

The ODS also demanded that NATO and the UN be involved in the stabilization of Iraq.

Four deputies from the BSP-dominated coalition have called for the contingent to be withdrawn from Iraq.

(RFE/RL 23.iv.04)

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