Officials meet on sidelines of UNGA

Sudani invites NATO Secretary-General to visit Baghdad

BAGHDAD, September 21 — Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa’ Al-Sudani extended an invitation on Wednesday to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to visit Baghdad, highlighting the government’s intention to review its relationship with the international coalition in light of the readiness of Iraqi security forces.

In a statement received by 964, the Prime Minister’s office reported:

Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa’ Al-Sudani met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in New York on Wednesday, as part of his participation in the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Al-Sudani extended an invitation to Mr. Stoltenberg to visit Iraq, expressing appreciation for NATO’s support during the fight against ISIS. This support included direct participation in military operations and advisory and training roles for Iraqi security forces, which have contributed to the stability the country now enjoys.

Prime Minister Al-Sudani emphasized the importance of cooperation in exchanging information and tracking the sources of terrorism financing, which extends across the globe. He also discussed the challenges related to drug trafficking and smuggling.

The Iraqi government is currently reviewing the nature of its relationship with the international coalition, considering the readiness of Iraqi security forces. This evaluation has resulted in the establishment of a bilateral committee, multiple dialogues, and a delegation visit from the Ministry of Defense to Washington to discuss the development and training of Iraqi forces.

In response, Secretary-General Stoltenberg expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Al-Sudani for Iraq’s reform efforts and the role played by its security forces in defeating the terrorist organization ISIS. He emphasized NATO’s respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and expressed willingness to expand cooperation by providing advice and training to Iraqi security forces, including those under the Ministry of Interior.

Office of the Prime Minister’s Media Office
September 20, 2023