KIEV, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has arrived in Iraq for a one-day routine visit, the presidential press office said Monday.
Yushchenko, accompanied by Ukraine's ministers of defense and foreign affairs, will visit the Ukrainian peacekeeping base in the province of Vasit to observe preparations for its planned withdrawal and to take part in a ceremony to hand over Ukrainian military hardware and ammunition to the Iraqi military, the press office said.
While in Iraq, Yushchenko will meet with Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari for talks on Ukraine's contribution to the reconstruction of Iraq, specifically through projects to restore the country's oil pipelines, electricity transmission lines and transportation infrastructure.
Ukraine has been reducing its 1,800-strong peacekeeping contingent in Iraq since last spring, withdrawing 150 servicemen in March and 500 more in April. Another 950 Ukrainian peacekeepers currently in Iraq are to return home before the end of the year.