NATO and Iraq transition towards strengthened partnership
In June, NATO opened a temporary Transition Cell in Iraq to smooth the path towards strengthened partnership and cooperation. NATO and Iraq have agreed to further promote strategic dialogue and strengthen Iraq’s security capability through capacity building, exchange, education and training.
Assistance to Iraq to develop effective armed forces started in 2004 under the NATO Training Mission in Iraq. While the mandate for this mission ended in December 2011, the Allies remain committed to bolstering Iraq’s capacity to provide for its own security and contribute to regional security.
At the recent Chicago Summit, Allied leaders welcomed the progress being made in Iraq and the establishment of the NATO Transition Cell to help develop the NATO-Iraq partnership.
NATO’s readiness to advance partnership by developing a structured framework for cooperation was reaffirmed at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. Following the adoption by Allies of a more flexible and inclusive partnership policy in April 2011, work started on preparing an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme with Iraq. This is expected to be finalized in the coming months.
The newly opened Transition Cell is supporting the Government of Iraq in laying the foundations for a consolidated inter-ministerial coordination mechanism for the management of training and cooperation within the framework of the NATO-Iraq partnership.
Cooperation is based on a shared commitment to develop capabilities that address shared challenges and threats. It also reflects a common desire to support the professional education and capacity development of the Iraqi Security Forces.