Updated: 05-Nov-2004 NATO Speeches


5 Nov. 2004


by the Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alessandro Minuto Rizzo
at the North Atlantic Council Meeting with the
Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq, HE Mr. Ayad Allawi

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Good morning and welcome to this meeting of the North Atlantic Council. Today, I would like to warmly welcome HE Prime Minister Ayad Allawi who is here to exchange views with the North Atlantic Council in Brussels.

At Istanbul, NATO Heads of State and Government responded to your request, Mr. Prime Minister, of providing the Iraqi Interim Government with assistance in training and equipping your security forces. In doing so, the Alliance not only underscored its support for the Iraqi people and government but pledged to implement a series of decisions that would make a difference on the ground and complement the international community's efforts to bring stability and peace to your country.

In August, a NATO Implementation and Training Mission in Iraq was dispatched to work closely with your government, Iraqi Defence personnel, and members of the Multinational Force, with a view to identifying present and future training needs. Training of selected Iraqi Joint Headquarters' Personnel was taken up in mid-August and has proven to be a valuable contribution to other ongoing efforts.

As you are aware, we are now in the process of significantly enhancing NATO’s Training Mission with additional personnel and expertise, including both in and out-of-country training. Among other activities, NATO has established a center to co-ordinate training and equipment offers, and is considering the rapid establishment of a Training, Education and Doctrine Centre in Iraq.

In carrying out this challenging mission, the Alliance will work closely with you and your Government, the United Nations, the Multi-national Force and others with the overall aim of strengthening your institutions; the institutions of a new, democratic Iraq.

Your visit here today, Mr. Prime Minister, is thus not only timely but a sign of a concerted international effort of helping your country move towards a better future. This vision of a better future, of a stable, democratic and prosperous Iraq, is shared by all around this table. We welcome this opportunity to hear directly from you regarding your expectations and assessments. Once again, you are very welcome.

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