From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO: The North Atlantic Council has decided to undertake the permanent withdrawal of the NATO Training Mission-Iraq personnel from Iraq by 31 December 2011, when the current mandate of the mission expires. Agreement on the extension of this successful programme did not prove possible despite robust negotiations conducted over several weeks. NATO remains fully committed to our partnership and political relationship with Iraq, through our existing Structured Cooperation Framework.
The NATO Training Mission in Iraq, which started in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi authorities, has been a success. Our trainers can be very proud of what they have achieved over the last seven years, contributing to Iraq’s security capacity and helping to develop a more sustainable, multi-ethnic security force. Since 2004, NTM-I has trained over 5,000 military personnel and over 10,000 police personnel in Iraq, provided courses for nearly 2,000 more in Allied countries, as well as over 115 million euro worth of military equipment and a total of 17.7 million euros in trust fund donations from all 28 NATO Allies for training and education at NATO facilities.
We are determined to build on the success and the spirit of our Training Mission to further strengthen our partnership and political relationship with Iraq, so that together we can continue to contribute to regional peace and stability, which is beneficial for the whole international community.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announces completion of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I). (photo: NATO)