Iraq PM asks NATO chief to shift personnel training back home

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Baghdad ( Iraq wants the training of its military personnel by the NATO to be carried out on its soil, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was quoted saying on Tuesday.

In a statement by his media office, Abadi, in a phone call with NATO’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, “expressed Iraq’s desire to cotinue the training of its forces and to shift the training process to inside Iraq”.

According to the statement, “the call discussed the acceleration and intensification of Iraqi forces’ training, as well as developing the military training curriculum to include infantry and intelligence units”.

The organization had recently declared the role of its forces would change in Iraq after the declaration of Iraq’s victory over Islamic State militants.

At a Warsaw Summit in July 2016, NATO concurred to accept a request from Abadi to start training and advising Iraqi security forces and institutions in Iraq, alongside training of Iraqi officers and non-commissioned officers out of the country.

The focus of NATO’s efforts in Iraq, according to the organization, has been “on areas agreed upon with the Iraqi authorities – tailored to the needs of the Iraqi security forces and institutions – and where NATO can provide added value”, without a fixed duration.

A U.S.-led alliance has backed Iraqi forces in their operations against Islamic State militants since the group emerged in 2014 and until the declaration of its defeat in 2017.

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