Poland to speed up troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

WARSAW Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:31am EST

New Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak pledges during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw August 2, 2011. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

New Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak pledges during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw August 2, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

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WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland is to speed up the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, reducing its contingent there to about 500 soldiers by May 2014, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said on Wednesday.

The minister told a news conference the decision had been taken in consultation with Poland's allies. He said the previous plan had been to reduce the Polish troops presence to 1,000 by the end of this year.

(Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Writing by Christian Lowe)

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