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Germany to trainIraqi police

19 January 2004

BERLIN – German law enforcement officers will shortly begin training Iraqi police recruits in the United Arab Emirates, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said Monday.

The first class of 154 Iraqi recruits will begin an eight-week course in March with members of Germany’s Federal Crime Bureau – Berlin’s version of the American FBI, said the spokeswoman.

A police training accord was signed by German Interior Minister Otto Schily who is presently visiting the UAE and Jordan for talks with members of the US occupation forces in Iraq and the Iraqi Governing Council.

Schily is not making a stop in Baghdad but the spokeswoman denied this had anything to do with security concerns or was a veiled German criticism of the American occupation force in Iraq.

Berlin still rejects sending troops to Iraq but Schroeder recently held out the possibility of sending a German medical evacuation plane to be based in Baghdad.

France and Japan say they want to help with Germany’s Iraqi police training programme but final details have not yet been agreed, the spokeswoman said.

Schily arrived on a short visit to Saudi Arabia Sunday as part of a tour to discuss the establishment of a training programme for Iraqi police recruits.

He also discussed with officials in Saudi Arabia and Jordan efforts to combat Islamic terrorists, organised crime and money laundering, an Interior Ministry official told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa, on Sunday.

Germany opposed the Iraq war, but last year agreed to provide training for Iraqi police at camps outside Iraq, possibly in the United Arab Emirates.


Subject: German news