By Diyar Guldogan
ANKARA (AA) – Training national forces is one of NATO's "best tools" in the fight against terrorism, the alliance's chief said on Tuesday.
"#NATO’s training & advisory support here makes Iraq & NATO Allies safer by helping prevent the return of Daesh. Training national forces is one of our best tools in the fight against terrorism," Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter.
Stoltenberg's remarks came after a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Iraq, where the two discussed NATO’s new training mission in the country, as well as regional security.
After a decision at the 2018 NATO summit, hundreds of trainers and support staff from NATO allies and partners were stationed in Iraq, providing advice and support to the National Operations Center, Defense Ministry and Office of the National Security Adviser.
"Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted that NATO’s assistance is helping Iraq to form a core group of instructors and trainers, boosting skills in areas like countering improvised explosive devices, military medicine, and military communications," NATO said in a statement.
During the meeting, Stoltenberg underlined NATO’s full respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq.
Later on Tuesday, he will meet with Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari, and is expected to deliver remarks at the Iraqi Defense University.
Stoltenberg visited on Monday the Iraqi School of Military Communications at Taji, as well as Canada’s Tactical Aviation Detachment.
Stoltenberg met the Commander of the NATO Mission Iraq, Major Gen. Dany Fortin; and Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve — Lieut. Gen. Robert White.