The Secretary General began his trip with a visit to the Iraqi School of Military Communications at Taji, one of the educational institutions being supported by NATO. The School trains personnel from the Ministry of Defence. At Taji, Mr Stoltenberg also visited the Tactical Aviation Detachment. The Detachment houses Canadian CH-146 Griffon helicopters providing essential support to NATO’s training and advisory efforts in the country.
On the second day, he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi for talks on the NATO mission in the country and the security situation in the region. The Secretary General paid tribute to the bravery of the Iraqi forces in liberating their country from Daesh and freeing millions from oppression, saying this victory makes Iraq safer, and NATO safer too.
Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted that NATO’s assistance is helping Iraq to enhance the skills of a core group of instructors and trainers, and help strengthen Defence institutions to enable them to be self-sustaining in the future. He further underlined NATO’s full respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq. He stressed that as Iraq continues to rebuild, the country can count on NATO’s continuing support and friendship.
The Secretary General completed his visit by meeting with Iraqi Defence Minister Najah al-Shammari, and delivered remarks at the Iraqi Defence University for Military Studies.