NATO Secretary General in IraqOn Friday, 3 December, the Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, paid a one-day visit to Iraq, the first visit by a NATO Secretary General to the country.
The visit comes as NATO is in the process of expanding and enhancing its assistance to Iraq in training and equipping the country’s security forces.
The Secretary General met with the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Hoshyar Zebari, as well as Maj. Gen. Petraeus, Commander of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq and members of the mission. The Secretary General also formally opened the NATO Headquarters in the Green Zone area of Baghdad.
In addition, he met with the Ambassadors of the NATO member countries that have diplomatic missions in Iraq.
Since August this year, a NATO Training Implementation Mission in Iraq has been conducting training of Iraqi Headquarters personnel in Iraq. NATO also has been training Iraqi security personnel outside Iraq and co-ordinating offers of equipment and training from individual NATO and partner countries.
The enhanced assistance will include the establishment of a NATO-supported Iraqi Training, Education and Doctrine Centre in Iraq, the site of which the Secretary General toured during his visit.
It will focus on leadership training for Iraqi security forces, helping to build nation-wide, multi-ethnic security institutions.