07:43 GMT +315 November 2019
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    A soldier of the United Nations (UN) stands guard next to girls and women at the Bangui Mosque, Central African Republic, on November 30, 2015.

    Portugal Views Peacekeeping Ops as a Tool to Fight Int'l Terrorism - Ambassador

    © AFP 2019 / Giuseppe Cacace
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    Participation in peacekeeping operations in an important part of Portugal's foreign policy, and it seeks to take part in the maximum number of counter-terrorism operations throughout the world, Portuguese Ambassador to Russia Mario Godinho de Matos told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The ambassador said that Lisbos remains committed to taking part in international peacekeeping operations in response to the question regarding importance of UN mission in Central African Republic, comprising 160 Portuguese military.

    "Missions of Portugal's Armed Forces in foreign countries… are a very important vector of our foreign policy, because we, as other members of NATO and the European Union, are making great efforts, including from a financial point of view, to participate in the largest possible number of such missions to fight terrorism, or… in such situations when it is necessary to ensure respect for human rights," de Matos said.

    He pointed out that Portugal had always paid great attention to human rights issue and such missions.

    The CAR in 2013 has been engulfed by a civil war since 2013. Peacekeepers have been deployed to the CAR in 2014 to maintain a fragile peace between Islamic Seleka rebels and Christian militias.

    United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) was launched in April 2014, replacing African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA). It comprises almost 13,100 personnel, including over 12,000 of uniformed personnel, 760 civilian personnel and over 200 UN volunteers. The approved budget for July 2016-June 2017 amounts for over $920 million.

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    peacekeepers, NATO, Central African Republic, Portugal
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