NATO To Coordinate Presence In Iraq With Government, Respect Sovereignty - Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that the alliance's presence in Iraq would be closely coordinated with the Iraqi government to ensure respect for the Middle Eastern country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
MUNICH (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that the alliance's presence in Iraq would be closely coordinated with the Iraqi government to ensure respect for the middle Eastern country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
That NATO's presence in Iraq is maintained strictly upon the consent of the Iraqi government and, in fact, at its invitation is something that Stoltenberg repeated numerous times over the past two days during the meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
"NATO mission and presence in Iraq will be conducted in close consultations with the Iraqi government, with full respect of Iraq's territorial integrity and sovereignty," Stoltenberg told journalists on sidelines of the Munich Security conference.
The NATO chief also said he had attended a meeting of the US-led global coalition where they had discussed "plans to enhance our presence in Iraq to help the Iraqis fight ISIS [the Islamic State terrorist organization, banned in Russia].
At the NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Stoltenberg said that the alliance, as a party of the global coalition of troops in Iraq, supports it, and the two were currently looking into ways of how to better coordinate and possibly change some of the responsibilities between them.
After the US assassinated one of Iran's most prominent military figures, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, in Iraq in early January, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel the coalition forces from the country. Baghdad has been in talks with the coalition on potentially working out a new mode of cooperation that would entail reduced training activities and arms supplies as well as some limitations on the coalition troop movements in Iraq.