London honors Iraqi army anniversary

LONDON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- London expressed its support for the Iraqi military, saying it showed its strength and determination in the face of grave security challenges.

Iraq celebrated Army Day this week, marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the country's army. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office recognized Iraqi security forces for their ability to stand strong and delivery stability and security in the post-invasion environment.


"With the recent formation and approval of the new government by the Iraqi Council of Representatives, we hope that the people of Iraq can look forward to the security, stability and economic growth that they deserve," the British foreign office said in a statement.

British diplomats were on hand for Army Day celebrations in 2010 in Baghdad. London said that Baghdad is finally in charge of its security operations across the country.

The U.S. military changed its combat mission over to Operation New Dawn in September 2010 to focus on training Iraqi forces. London pulled its last combat battalion out of Iraq in 2009.

"We look forward to continuing our close bilateral links in building new commercial, cultural, economic and defense ties in the future," the British government said.


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