Pakistan Tribune
March 17, 2006

RIGA: Latvian military spokesman Normunds Stafeckis announced Wednesday that 15 soldiers have left for Afghanistan to help its reconstruction. The sappers and management personnel will work in north Afghanistan under the command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said Stafeckis. The ISAF, deployed in line with UN resolution, has about 10,000 peacekeepers now in the Asian state. Its mission is to maintain security in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul and in the northern city of Kunduz, ensure the safety of international aid workers and help the country’s reconstruction.

Latvia is to send a total of 28 soldiers to Afghanistan and the remaining troops are due to arrive in Afghanistan on March 22 and April 12 respectively, the spokesman said. Enditem UN lauds India’s efforts at reconstructing Afghanistan Bangkok, Mar 15 (UNI) India’s role in rebuilding and reconstructing of Afghanistan today came in for commendation from a top United Nation’s official, who said that this would go a long way in enabling the poor country to stand on its own feet. ’’New Delhi’s historically warm ties with Afghanistan will provide support to international efforts to get the country rid of its backwardness, Mr Anwarul K Chowdhury, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, told UNI. Mr Chowdhury, who is coordinating international support for socio-economic progress in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), was in the Thai capital for the two-day Regional Meeting of Asia-Pacific LDCs.

The event started yesterday with a view to reviewing progress of the 14 LDCs in the Region relating to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It was organised by the UN’s Bangkok-based Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Office of the UN’s High Representative for LDCs and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Mr Chowdhury will travel from Bangkok to New Delhi, where he is slated to meet Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran on March 20. Mr Choudhary will discuss with him India’s special support to the LDCs in the spirit of South-South cooperation. The talks will focus on the countries’ commitment at the December 2005 Hong Kong WTO ministerial meeting to provide duty-free and quota-free market access to the LDCs.