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Outgoing President Traian Basescu says Romania has committed an extra 450 troops to Afghanistan starting next year in addition to the previously announced 200 military instructors and trainers.

Basescu said December 20 that Romania's Supreme Council of National Defense has approved the deployment of additional soldiers, who will be tasked with guarding the Kandahar airport and military base in southern Afghanistan.

Romania had initially committed some 200 troops to participate in the "Resolute Support" mission which will train Afghan forces beyond 2014.

Basescu, speaking in Bucharest at his final news conference before leaving office on December 21, said the decision was made after a request from Romania's allies.

The 13-year NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission ends this month, but some 12,500 foreign soldiers -- mostly from the United States -- will remain in the country in 2015 in a supporting role.

At its peak in 2010, Romania's contingent in Afghanistan numbered 1,600 troops. Romania lost 76 soldiers in Afghanistan, including 20 killed in action


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