NATO to expand training mission in Iraq as coronavirus pandemic recedes

BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that the alliance intends to expand its training mission in Iraq as the coronavirus pandemic begins to recede.

Stoltenberg said he expects defense ministers of NATO member states to agree to gradually expand the training mission in Iraq, deploying more NATO soldiers to work alongside Iraqi security institutions. He also praised the Iraqi Government’s steps in the fight against terrorism, while stressing NATO’s continued support for Iraq in efforts to pursue terrorist organizations.

Stoltenberg spoke by telephone with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who also stressed the importance of developing cooperation with NATO, as Iraqi security forces continue their military operations in the face of terrorism and the pursuit of remnants of the Islamic State.