Nato Secretary General Stoltenberg to meet with Iraqi foreign minister
The western alliance has committed itself to its training mission in Iraq
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is to meet Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Wednesday to discuss the alliance’s continued support for Baghdad.
A Nato official told The National that the organisation would continue to bolster Iraq’s security forces.
“We are committed to our partnership with Iraq in the fight against terrorism. The past few months have been challenging in view of the global pandemic. Despite these circumstances, our mission in Iraq is moving ahead and planning for the future, together with our Iraqi partners,” the official said.
“We are doing so in light of the situation on the ground, in close consultation with the [coalition against ISIS] and in full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are committed to stepping up our co-operation, to help Iraq build stronger security forces and institutions."
In February, Nato defence ministers agreed to expand the western alliance’s training mission in Iraq, responding to a demand by US President Donald Trump for Nato to do more in the region.
At the time, Nato said it would take over some of the training activities carried out by the US-led coalition against ISIS, meaning the decision does not require more western troops in Iraq.
Nato was forced to suspend its training mission after the killing of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani at Baghdad airport in January.
Last month, US President Donald Trump repeated his promise to withdraw the US troops still in Iraq, but said Washington would remain ready to help if Iran took any hostile action.
Speaking during his first meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi, Mr Trump said he looked forward to the day when US troops could leave Iraq.
Updated: September 15, 2020 10:52 PM