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Danish prime minister visits Danish troops in Iraq

23.05.2006 | Source:

Pravda.Ru

 
Danish prime minister visits Danish troops in Iraq

Denmark's prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, made a surprise visit to Iraq on Tuesday to visit Danish troops stationed in the southern part of the country, a government official said. Defense Minister Soeren Gade also visited the 530-strong Danish contingent stationed near Basra, another government official said. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give their names to the media.

Fogh Rasmussen, who leads Denmark's center-right coalition government, expressed his support and gratitude to the troops for their service, and asked them about conditions at the Danish camp, one of the officials said. It was the prime minister's second visit to the Danish contingent, while Gade has visited the contingent several times. The visit had not been announced in advance for security reasons.

Earlier this month, the government announced plans to reduce the Danish contingent by 80 troops as part of a reorganization of its forces. Fogh Rasmussen's government, a staunch supporter of Washington, is facing increasing criticism from the Social Democratic-led opposition, which demands that Denmark pull all troops home in June. Three Danish soldiers have been killed in Iraq, two by roadside bombs and one by friendly fire, reports the AP.

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