Nato boss opens training HQ in Iraq
27 September 2005, AMSTERDAM — Nato Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer opened the headquarters of his organisation's training mission in Baghdad on Tuesday.
27 September 2005
AMSTERDAM — Nato Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer opened the headquarters of his organisation's training mission in Baghdad on Tuesday.
The Dutch official's visit to Iraq was unannounced for security reasons. De Hoop Scheffer was accompanied on his second visit to the country by Nato's supreme commander for operations, US General James L. Jones.
The Nato's state-of-the-art complex is within Baghdad's heavy-fortified Green Zone, which also houses Iraq government ministries and foreign embassies.
Sixteen of the 26 member nations of the North Atlantic alliance are taking part in the mission in Iraq and other countries are providing funds or are training Iraqis outside Iraq.
At full strength, the mission will have 165 personnel in Iraq and aims to have 900 Iraqis graduating as army officers a year.
De Hoop Scheffer said the mission was of major importance to Iraq "and the development of democratic institutions".
"It is important of course for political reasons, Nato as an alliance of individual nations, reaffirming their commitments to Iraq," he said.
Meanwhile, at least nine people died and 21 were wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber attacked a group of Iraqis applying for jobs as policemen in Baqouba, 30 miles from the Iraqi capital.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news + Iraq news + Nato