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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Slovakia names Iraq pullout date
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico (left) and Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi in Baghdad
Prime Minister Robert Fico (left) visited Baghdad in August
Slovakia will withdraw its troops from Iraq next February, Prime Minister Robert Fico has announced.

There are about 110 Slovak troops in Iraq as part of the US-led coalition.

Mr Fico, who was elected in June, promised in his campaign that he would withdraw the contingent as soon as he reached office.

However, he has decided to commit the troops - mostly army engineers and security personnel - to a further six-month tour.

"Slovak soldiers can start packing their stuff, because they have to be home in February 2007," Mr Fico said on Wednesday.

"With this, the government is fulfilling its promise."

Slovakia's troops are stationed in Hilla in the Polish sector.

They have been largely occupied with mine clearance rather than front-line fighting.

Three Slovak soldiers were killed in 2003 in an explosion at an ammunition dump.

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