To ensure the stability of Iraq, NATO ministers of defense in the North Atlantic Council have agreed on the development and strengthening of NATO missions in the region, said Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of the alliance, in Brussels on Thursday.
Following a two-day defense ministerial meeting, Stoltenberg said NATO will continue and further expand its training activities in Baghdad and other headquarters with the creation of additional military academies with a view to helping Iraqi forces with ever-higher-quality defense capabilities.
He intends to intensify the presence of a military alliance in the region, but he still does not participate in combat activities – the Secretary-General added.
He also said that the ministers agreed that the alliance’s capacity to respond to the Middle East and North Africa needs to be improved. This is mainly the support of local forces’ capabilities and the development of the force, which is one of the best tools for combating terrorism. He emphasized that NATO will continue to help strengthen security in Afghanistan by modernizing institutions and preparing for the force.
He said NATO urged a political solution in Afghanistan to reduce the military conflict. He believes that an Afghan-led peace process can lead to a lasting peace solution.
The Secretary-General emphasized the importance of closer cooperation with the European Union in order to increase the security of the continent. As he said, Federica Mogherini, with the participation of High Representative of the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy, confirmed their committed cooperation in the fight against military mobility, computer protection and terrorist threats, and discussed how the two organizations could complement each other’s work .
US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, after the meeting in Brussels, on YPG’s Kurdish militia over Turkish-American relations, said he had an open dialogue with his Turkish colleague about the “growing disruption” in finding a common denominator.
His bilateral discussion with Nurettin Canikli, Turkish Security Minister, was called by Mattis as “completely open and honest dialogue”. He stated that the two countries should work together.
There was a constant tension between the two NATO allies on the grounds that the United States supports the Syrian Kurdish rebels, while Turkey is increasingly attacking northern Syrian Kurdish groups.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday in his statement in Kuwait to worry about recent developments in Northwest Syria where Turkey launched an attack on the United States in January against the Kurdish militia, as it sees a threat to the southern border. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said on Monday that the tense relationship between the two countries came to a break point.