When Eastern European states eager for enhanced trade relations with the US start pulling out of Iraq you know the game is over.
Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said Thursday he had ordered the defense minister to withdraw Romania’s 890 troops from Iraq because of high casualty levels and the cost of the operation.
“The death and serious injury of Romanian soldiers is becoming a concern,” said Tariceanu. He said he had informed President Traian Basescu of his decision and would also inform U.S. authorities.
Defense Minister Teodor Atanasiu said the operation would save Romania $980 million. “The financial side should not be ignored,” Tariceanu said.
Last week a Romanian soldier was killed in Afghanistan, the fourth Romanian soldier to die since 2003. Romania has about 700 peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan, and 890 in Iraq. One Romanian soldier has died in Iraq.