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The Conflict in Iraq

Portugal to End Iraq Duty as Planned

January 16, 2005|From Associated Press

LISBON — Portugal announced Saturday that its 120-member police mission in Iraq would end Feb. 12 as scheduled.

A government statement said Portugal would continue to fully support its allies in Iraq but in different ways, such as providing humanitarian relief.

The contingent had been scheduled to return to Portugal in November, but the mission was extended until Feb. 12 because of "Portugal's need to assist in the electoral process in Iraq within the U.N.-proposed date of Jan. 30," said a statement issued by the prime minister's office and the Foreign Ministry.

One of the government's proposals for future help is to assist in training the Iraqi security forces.

The Portuguese police, who are under Italian command in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya, were first deployed in November 2003. President Jorge Sampaio had refused to send troops without United Nations approval.

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