Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi of Iraq to NATO Headquarters on Wednesday (30 June 2021). Prime Minister al-Kadhimi, accompanied by Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and Defence Minister Jumaah Saadoon, discussed with the Secretary General the progress being made by NATO Mission Iraq. The non-combat mission trains and advises Iraqi security institutions and forces, helping them to fight terrorism and stabilise their country. The Secretary General highlighted the excellent cooperation between NATO and the Iraqi government, and commended Iraq’s security forces for their efforts to ensure that Daesh/ISIS does not return. They discussed the security situation in the region and Iraq’s upcoming elections.
Prime Minister al-Kadhimi also participated in a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, where he addressed NATO Allies and NATO Mission Iraq operational partners Australia, Finland and Sweden. Following a request from the Iraqi government, NATO decided in February to gradually expand NATO Mission Iraq. This includes training in more security institutions and military education facilities, and in areas beyond Baghdad. NATO’s presence is conditions-based and the expansion will be incremental, and will be done in close consultation with the Iraqi government, and with their full consent. NATO is also closely coordinating with other international actors, in particular the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, as well as the European Union and the United Nations.