Bulgarian gov't to propose one-year extension of mission in Iraq

The government will propose extending Bulgaria's mission of 120 non-combat troops to Iraq until 2009, its press office said Wednesday. The government's proposal, which will be submitted to parliament and needs parliamentary approval, will extend the mission of Bulgaria's 120 servicemen and 35 support staff in Iraq by another year after the current deadline expires on March 31, 2008. If approved, the decision would become effective after the UN Security Council decides to extend by a year the mandate for the multinational force in Iraq, the government's press office said. The Bulgarian unit, under US command, helps guard the Ashraf refugee camp, about 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Baghdad.