NATO general praises Kuwait’s important role for regional stability.

The outgoing Commander of NATO Mission in Iraq, Lieutenant General Giovanni Maria Iannucci, Monday lauded Kuwait’s positive role in maintaining peace and security in the region. “Kuwait has quite an important role to play”, he told a small group of journalists including KUNA, speaking via zoom from Baghdad to the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

“I see from Kuwait a positive posture and even the willingness to help Iraq to some extent to become stronger,” he said. “I see a positive dynamic ongoing. The recent Iranian-Saudi agreement to some extent paved the way for better environment,” said the NATO commander who was assigned to his post in Iraq in May 2022.

“Even though the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran was signed in Beijing, Iraq played a very important role in facilitating the dialogue,” he stressed. The Italian Lieutenant General said that the focus of the present government of Iraq led by Prime Minister Mohammad Al-Sudani is on improving regional relations by paying visits to neighboring countries.

“He is trying to re-position Iraq in the center of the regional foreign policy to smoothen and improve relations even with some neighboring countries with whom they have some disagreements,” he said. Referring to the problem of terrorism, he said, “Daesh as we knew years ago in this country is no longer a threat.”

“However, this does not imply that terrorism is no longer alive because there is a different type of terrorism behind the scenes” he said, warning that the nexus between the growing criminality, drug trafficking, and terrorism could become a concern in Iraq.

In his presentation, Lieutenant General Giovanni Maria Iannucci referred to the growing role of China and Russia in the Middle East region and said that China will continue to play a major role in the region in the military and security environment. The same applies to Russia, he said noting, “Iraq is in the center of geopolitical confrontation.”

NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) is a non-combat advisory and capacity-building mission that assists Iraq in building more sustainable and effective armed forces and security institutions, to stabilize their country, fight terrorism and prevent the return of ISIS/Daesh.

Several hundred personnel from NATO and partner countries are serving in the mission.
The mission was launched at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July 2018, following a request from the government of Iraq, and established in October 2018. Lieutenant General Jose Antonio Aguero Martinez from Spain has been appointed as the new Commander for the NATO Mission to Iraq.

Source- Arab Times.

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