Georgia to more than double its troops in Iraq

The embassy of the Republic of Georgia said Thursday the former Soviet republic is raising the number of soldiers it has with the US-led coalition in Iraq to more than 2,000 from its current 850. A statement sent to The Associated Press and attributed to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said the country was committing its troops for one year. Georgian officials were consulting with their US and Iraqi counterparts about how the troops would be deployed. "We understand that the next year will be decisive in terms of stabilizing the situation in that country," Saakashvili said in the statement. "We want to do everything possible to help the Iraqi people and coalition partners bring stability, peace and freedom to Iraq."