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Feb 26 2021

NATO Mission Iraq Commander discusses expansion with Government of Iraq Representatives

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Today Commander of NATO Mission Iraq (NMI), Lieutenant General Per Olsen, was honoured to participate in a workshop with representatives of the Government of Iraq to discuss in greater detail the cooperation and coordination between NMI and the Iraqi government.

This workshop was held following the decision by NATO Ministers of Defence on 18 February 2021 authorizing an expansion of NATO Mission Iraq.

The decision by NATO Ministers of Defence is a clear sign of NATO's firm commitment to support the further development and sustainment of the Iraqi Security Forces and Institutions and Iraq's lasting security. It follows a request from the Iraqi government to NATO to increase its support.

The expansion of personnel will be incremental. It will be based on the requirements and consent from the Iraqi authorities and conditions on the ground, including with respect to logistical and other security aspects necessary for NMI to continue operating in a safe and effective way.

NATO Mission Iraq is currently working together with the Iraqi Government to specify the first steps of this expansion.

All activities will continue to be carried out with full respect for Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

For 2021, NATO Mission Iraq aims to increase its current strength by a few hundred support staff and advisors. This will allow NATO to further enhance our current engagement with our Iraqi counterparts.

Background

NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) is an advisory, training and capacity building mission in Iraq. It was launched at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July 2018, following a request and upon invitation from the Government of Iraq. It was established in Baghdad in October 2018.

NMI is a non-combat mission and its personnel do not deploy alongside Iraqi forces during their operations. It carries out its activities with full respect for Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It provides advice, training and capacity building to the Iraqi Security Forces and Institutions, so they are better capable of preventing the return of Da'esh, fighting terrorism in all its form and manifestation, and stabilising their country.

NMI advises and mentors, primarily at the institutional level, in order to strengthen Iraqi security institutions and forces through support to institutional reform.

All thirty NATO Allies and three partners (Australia, Finland and Sweden) support NATO Mission Iraq. Our personnel are working closely with their counterparts at the Iraqi Prime Minister's National Operations Centre, the Office of the National Security Advisor, and the Ministry of Defence.

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UNION III
Baghdad.

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Forward Operation Base
UNION III
Baghdad.