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Iraq, NATO discuss regional stability

Iraqi National Security Adviser Qasim al-Araji and head of NATO’s Mission in Iraq, Michael Anker Lollesgaard “discussed ways to enhance security

IANS | Updated :

A senior Iraqi government official and head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mission in Iraq discussed on Sunday NATO’s support for Iraqi forces and ways to enhance stability in the region.

Iraqi National Security Adviser Qasim al-Araji and head of NATO’s Mission in Iraq, Michael Anker Lollesgaard “discussed ways to enhance security and stability in the region, as well as NATO’s support to Iraq in the field of advice and training for Iraqi forces,” according to a statement from al-Araji’s media office.

During the meeting, al-Araji said the Iraqi government is responsible for protecting Iraq and keeping it away from any regional conflict, and reiterated “Iraq’s refusal to use its lands, airspace and waters as a launching pad for any aggression against any country,” Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting came as the coalition forces led by the United States are withdrawing from Iraq, and the task of the remaining foreign soldiers’ mission is shifting to giving advice, help, and empowerment to Iraqi security forces.

On January 5, 2020, the Iraqi parliament passed a resolution requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in the country.

In July this year, the United States and Iraq held a session of strategic dialogue, during which the two countries agreed on withdrawing all US combat troops from Iraq by December 31.