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NATO to Keep Assisting Iraq after the End of Combat Operations

NATO to Keep Assisting Iraq after the End of Combat Operations

Thursday, 7 December, 2017 - 07:30
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. AFP

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday a number of allies announced that they will contribute to the new Crisis Management Center in Jordan and promised continued assistance to Iraq following ISIS’ collapse.

Stoltenberg was speaking at the conclusion of the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.

“Today, allies looked to the future of the NATO training activity in Iraq and expressed their full commitment to it,” he said.

“We have discussed ways to increase NATO’s role in projecting stability and fighting terrorism. Because instability abroad threatens us at home,” Stoltenberg stated.

“From the Balkans to Afghanistan, NATO has great experience in training local forces and building the capacity of local institutions. These are the best tools to make our partners better able to defend themselves and to combat international terrorism.”

“This year, we started training local forces in Iraq.  In areas such as countering improvised explosive devices, military medicine, equipment maintenance, and reform of the country’s security institutions. 

“As we look ahead to the Brussels Summit in July, we discussed how to engage further with our partners, to the south and to the east. We need to devote sufficient resources to these efforts, to make the best of the skills and capabilities we have,” he added.

According to Stoltenberg, Wednesday’s discussions focused on how NATO’s role within the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS should evolve as the Coalition moves from combat operations to stabilization efforts.

“This is something that both the Coalition and the Iraqi government want.  The Coalition has recovered over 95 percent of the territory claimed by ISIS and liberated seven million people,” he said.

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