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Baghdad Expresses Keenness on Cooperating With NATO

Baghdad Expresses Keenness on Cooperating With NATO

Monday, 22 February, 2021 - 10:15
An Iraqi soldier stands guard in front US military air carrier on 26 March 2020 [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images]

Iraq has expressed keenness on cooperating with the international community, namely with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The organization announced it would dramatically scale up its mission in Iraq from 500 personnel to 4,000.

Iraq's National Security Adviser Qasim al-Araji said: "Iraq is keen to cooperate with the international community. Iraqi forces have great experiences gained through combat," noting that "exchanging experiences is crucial to confront terrorism and extremism."

This came during a meeting between Araji and the commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, Pierre Olsen.

Araji said that his country is not part of any regional problem, but rather part of the solution.

Iraq will work to benefit from the experiences of NATO because ISIS is still a threat so far, he explained.

For his part, Olsen said: “The NATO mission in Iraq continues at the request of the Iraqi leadership, and the expansion of the staff may be at the request of this country.”

Riad Al-Masoudi, a deputy in the Iraqi parliament for the "Sairoun" coalition, stated that Washington has become aware of the Iraqi pressures towards the US withdrawal of forces from Iraq. Therefore, it is attempting to return to the country through NATO.

Fatah coalition spokesman Abbas al-Zamili commented saying that no foreign force can enter the country without a prior agreement with the Iraqi government, which gets should get the parliament’s approval first.

Iraq is a sovereign country that doesn’t need a foreign presence on its territories, he stressed.

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