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Lithuanian soldiers help Afghan geologists asses natural resources


Lithuanian geologists Prof Saulius Sliaupa and Prof Gediminas Motuza gathered information on natural resources that could be found in the territory of Ghowr province, July 20-27. Geologists were accompanied and guarded by members of Lithuanian-led PRT-7.

Samples taken by the geologists will be closely analysed at the laboratory of Vilnius University. It could provide valuable news for economic and agricultural development of one of the poorest provinces of Afghanistan.

”We are very grateful for the soldiers for providing us with assistance and excellent conditions for assessment. We have had the experience in working under various conditions in various countries were distances had to be made on horses' or donkeys' backs. But in Afghanistan we were driven in armed vehicles dressed in flak-jackets," said archaeologist G. Motuza.

Fahim Zaheer, Director of the Mines Affairs Department of Afghanistan Geological Survey named mineralogical research of Ghowr as good idea because the province has been abandoned and unexplored. He provided a suggestion to include training of Afghan geologists into the activity.

Abdul Qudos Niman Hamidi, Vice Minister of Afghan Mining and Industry was also positive towards Lithuania's initiative to conduct survey of natural resources in Ghowr. Refering to Lithuanian archaeologist that were working in Afghanistan recently, he said it was very important that Afghanistan received not only military but also scientific assistance.

Geological expedition was financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation and Support for Democracy programme.

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At an exercise reconnaissance personnel trained various reconnaissance tasks and tactical actions, honed individual and teamwork skills, and improved interoprability between units. Photo credit: SSG Edikas Ponomariovas.
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