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Georgia Ready to Boost Troop Numbers in Iraq

Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili says his country is ready to increase its military presence in Iraq to as many as 2,000 troops.

President Saakashvili said the increased contingent will remain in Iraq for a year. He spoke to reporters Friday as he continued his visit Japan.

Georgia now has more than 850 troops in Iraq.

The Georgian leader said his country, which hopes to gain NATO membership, also is planning to send troops to Afghanistan to help alliance forces there.

Mr. Saakashvili's five-day Japanese tour follows his visit to Kazakhstan. He has discussed bilateral trade and economic opportunities in both countries.