On Thursday, 22 September, the Saeima approved in the final reading amendments to the Law on Participation of the Latvian National Armed Forces in International Operations, authorising the Cabinet of Ministers to decide on extending participation of the Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) in the peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan. These amendments will ensure legitimacy of the NAF mission in Afghanistan until the 11th Saeima is convened.
The Cabinet of Ministers will be authorised to decide on participation of Latvian troops in international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan (ISAF) only in this particular case. Later a mandate of the 11th Saeima will also be needed. These amendments entitle the government to decide on participation of the NAF in the ISAF operation within the framework of the mandate of the UN Security Council (UNSC) until the date when the 11th Saeima decides on this issue but not later than by 1 January 2012.
The current mandate for participation of the NAF in the ISAF mission ends on 13 October 2011; however, since the parliamentary mandate is contingent on the UNSC resolutions, there is a risk that because of the work schedule of the UNSC, the 10th Saeima may not have enough time to make a decision on extending the mandate. Currently, it is not known when the UNSC will adopt a new resolution on extending the ISAF operation; however, it may take place after 13 October 2011.
Saeima Press Service