NATO to end training mission in Iraq

Dec. 12, 2011 at 8:49 AM
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BRUSSELS, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The NATO Training Mission in Iraq will end Dec. 31 when its mandate expires, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday.

Efforts to reach agreement on extending the program were unsuccessful, despite "robust negotiations" conducted during the past few weeks, Rasmussen said in a release from NATO headquarters in Brussels.

The mission, which began in 2004 at the request of Iraqi officials, was successful and trainers contributed "to Iraq's security capacity and [helped] develop a more sustainable, multiethnic security force," Rasmussen said.

"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."

The mission trained more than 5,000 military personnel and more than 10,000 police personnel in Iraq, and provided $152 million worth of military equipment and $23.4 million in trust fund donations from all 28 NATO allies for training and education at NATO facilities, officials said.

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