North Atlantic Council today decided to help strengthen Iraq’s security and defence. The programme has been developed upon Iraq’s request and in close consultation. But it doesn’t say anything about relations with Kurds.


by Roni Alasor

Brussels, 31 July 2015 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - North Atlantic Council today decided to help strengthen Iraq’s security and defence. NATO Allies will help on a defence capacity building package of Iraq by “providing support in areas where NATO is best-placed to add value”. This decision, taken today by the North Atlantic Council, “underscores NATO’s commitment to deepening our partnership with Iraq”. The statement was announced by Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary General.

According NATO, the programme has been “developed upon Iraq’s request and in close consultation with the Iraqi authorities”. But it doesn’t say anything about its relations with Kurds generally, but specifically with Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.

The package includes measures of support in seven priority areas: advice on security sector reform; countering improvised explosive devices, explosive ordnance disposal and de-mining; civil military planning; cyber defence; military medicine and medical assistance; military training; and civil emergency planning.

NATO and Iraqi experts will now work on the details of the training programmes which  will be held in Turkey and Jordan. NATO’s support for Iraq has been designed to complement efforts carried out by the Global Coalition against ISIL, the European Union, the United Nations and bilateral efforts by individual Allies.

The NATO statement is saying that the defence capacity programme for Iraq is part of the Alliance’s Defence Capacity Building Initiative, launched at the NATO Summit in Wales. Its aim is to enable the Alliance to assist its partners in building their defence and security.


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