NATO Defence Ministers Agree on Continued Mission in Iraq

The NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels agreed that if the Government of Iraq approved, the NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) would be continued.

On the basis of the account of the negotiations with the leadership of Iraq presented by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Ministers also agreed to look into the possibilities to expand the Alliance’s role in Iraq by taking over some of the tasks of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS.

The NATO Defence Ministerial on February 12 and 13 also addresses NATO operations, including the NATO and NATO partners’ operation in Afghanistan. Ministers also discussed the ways to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defence measures. Particular attention was paid to the response to the intermediate-range cruise missiles that threaten almost all of the European capitals deployed by Russia. Ministers also took stock of the progress made on the NATO Readiness Initiate aiming to enhance allied rapid response capabilities on land, in the air, and at sea.

On the margins of formal meetings NATO Ministers of Defence met with Minister of Defence of Ukraine informally.

The ministers from UK, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherland and Norway also signed a Readiness Declaration committing the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) to contribute to purposes of the NATO Response Force. The JEF is a brigade-sized high readiness force for reposing to emergencies in Europe and beyond , from humanitarian aid to deterrence and combat operations. The JEF is primarily meant for rapid response operations under the flag of the European Union, NATO, or the United Nations. JEF elements could be also used for Article 5 operations.

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