Berlin won’t hinder bigger NATO Iraq role

25th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

25 June 2004 , BERLIN - The German government said Friday it would not block any decision at next week’s NATO summit to give the Alliance a bigger Iraq role, but a spokesman stressed Berlin would not send troops to Baghdad.

25 June 2004

BERLIN - The German government said Friday it would not block any decision at next week’s NATO summit to give the Alliance a bigger Iraq role, but a spokesman stressed Berlin would not send troops to Baghdad.

Germany, which led European opposition to the Iraq War, on Thursday said it expected NATO leaders meeting in Istanbul next week to approve providing training for Iraqi security forces.

Officials said Germany would assist in such troop training programmes - but only if they took place outside of Iraq.

”The red line” is no troops in Iraq, said Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s chief spokesman Bela Anda.

Anda said Germany remained skeptical about giving NATO a bigger Iraqi role because the Alliance’s US leadership meant it would be met with a great deal of “psychological opposition” among Iraqis.

Germany, however, would not block a bigger NATO mission, Anda stressed.

”We will not hinder NATO and other NATO states if they to take a role in Iraq,” he said.

At present NATO is limited to providing logistical aid for the Polish sector in Iraq even though 15 NATO states have forces operating in the country.

Leaders of NATO’s 26 member states hold their summit in Istanbul 28 to 29 June.

DPA


Subject: German news

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