Francine Closener, secretary of state for defence, said that “compared to the size of the army, very few countries have deployed as many soldiers as Luxembourg” at a press conference on Thursday 5 October.
Luxembourg has contributed to the Nato mission in Kosovo for the past 17 years, which will end this year. The last contingent will come back to Luxembourg next week, as the local situation has improved and local authorities are less reliant on international support. The Luxembourg contribution to the peace keeping mission involved 1,178 soldiers.
Closener said that “the KFOR mission was so far the most important deployment and marked the Luxembourg army.” Luxembourg will contribute to the co-financing of the medical support of the KFOR troops, which is in line with the new guidelines for the defence. Furthermore the state will strengthen its civil ties in political, legal and police areas. More financial support is also foreseen (€30 million in 2107-2020).
Afghanistan deployment until July 2018
The Luxembourg army has been providing humanitarian and military support in Afghanistan since 2001. The military component (logistics, reconstruction of infrastructure and training of Afghan security personnel) was supported by 274 soldiers. The Afghanistan deployment will end in July 2018, and it has not yet been decided what form of support the government will continue to provide.
Since 2013, the army has been participating in the international peace mission in Mali. It also takes part in setting up the Nato battalion in Lithuania.