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30 July 2004 -- NATO countries agreed today to train security forces in Iraq.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer brokered the deal. He said an advance team will leave for Iraq as soon as possible to begin the training and will report back in September about proposed relations with the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq.

Agreement on the mission had been sought by Washington but was delayed over French objections to a U.S. general commanding the training operation.

So far, NATO's role in Iraq has been limited to providing logistical backup to a Polish-led division working with the U.S. troops.

Although 16 NATO member states already have some troops in Iraq, they are not under the NATO flag.

(AP/AFP)
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