From the event


17 Apr.

NATO and Iraq: agenda for the future

On Thursday, 17 April 2008, NATO HQ hosted a visit of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mr. Nouri Al-Maliki. He was accompanied by a high-level team of government members, including Foreign Minister, Mr. Hoshyar Zebari, Defence Minister, Mr. Abdul Qader Mohammad, Interior Minister, Mr. Jawad Kadhum Eedan and National Security Advisor, Mr. Muwafaq Baqer Kadhim.

The delegation began their visit to HQ by holding a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. Afterwards, Prime Minister Al-Maliki addressed the North Atlantic Council.

During a friendly and comprehensive exchange of views, Allied ambassadors reiterated their countries' determination to continue with the work of the NATO Training Mission- Iraq (NTM-I). Following a request addressed to NATO earlier this year by Prime Minister Al-Maliki a decision has been taken to extend this mission through 2009. Both sides shared a very positive evaluation of the training effort so far, which - since 2004 - resulted in courses for over 10000 Iraqi security forces' members. Recently, these projects include specialized gendarmerie-type training for Iraqi police. Moreover, a discussion between NATO and Iraqi officials has begun on the details of enhanced training in such areas as border security or Small Arms and Light Weapons Accountability.

The Prime Minister stressed the important practical benefits of NATO's engagement, helping the Iraqi government to develop autonomous capacities to improve the security situation in the country and to face up to the challenge of terrorism.

Allies also agreed to respond favourably to Iraq's call for a structured cooperation framework , which will set an agenda for NATO's long-term relationship with Iraq.

Before departure Prime Minister Al-Maliki held a joint point de presse with the Secretary General.