Polish Maj. Gen. Piotr Czerwinski took over leadership of the inernational coalition force in Iraq for Poland's final tour of duty there.
Czerwinski assumed control from Maj. Gen. Waldemar Skrzypczak in a ceremony attended by Poland's Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Foreign Minister at the Polish-led force's headquarters in the city of Diwaniyah. U.S. commander of coalition forces, Gen. George W. Casey and Iraqi local leaders also attended.
Poland, a staunch U.S. ally, participated in the invasion of Iraq and has commanded a multinational force there since September 2003. Poland's own 1,500 troops serving in the force are to be pulled out in early 2006. A small group of officers is expected to stay on to train the Iraqi military, the AP reports.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign