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Seventeen Romanian gendarmes are leaving today for Afghanistan on a six-month mission with the NATO Training Mission (NTM-A) to provide training for the local law enforcement forces.

Attending the departure ceremony, hosted by the Romanian Gendarmerie, was Interior Minister Dan Carmen alongside officials of the Interior Ministry (MAI) and families of those who will participate in the mission.

"There are 23 gendarmes who will carry out support missions in Afghanistan. Today, 17 of them will leave; the next ones will leave in three weeks' time, as they are vetted to handle NATO classified intelligence. They will provide a training mission to the Afghan law enforcement troops, will join the peace-keeping troops there that include soldiers form the Romanian National Defence Ministry. For their six-month mission, they will be accommodated at a military base in Kabul," said Dan.

She added that this mission is proof that the Romanian Gendarmerie is commended for what it does and for the expertise it provides internationally.

"I am proud and honoured, and I am glad that today we could join them to wish them easy mission and safe return home to their families and colleagues. And I am also glad that, despite all the difficult moments we have had to overcome, at least for the last seven months, Mr President Iohannis himself has understood the importance of the representation of the Gendarmerie in war zones and approved by a decision of the Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) the deployment of this contingent of expertise to Afghanistan, in contract to the actions (...) aimed at affecting the image of the Romanian Gendarmerie you may remember the steps taken even internationally to withdraw the Gendarmerie from the war zones and even to disband it," said Dan.

This contingent has participated in various training courses and programmes and their expertise has been tested, along with their English knowledge, undergoing a psychological and medical exams.

The Romanian Gendarmerie has so far deployed 10 contingents for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Gendarmerie participates in nine missions under the aegis of the European Uninon (EU), the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Alexandru Florea, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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