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UN Supports Iraqi Decision On Arab Troops

Lakhdar Brahimi (file photo) 6 July 2004 -- The UN's envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, expressed support today for the interim Iraqi government's decision not to accept troops from neighboring countries.

Brahimi made his remarks in Amman after meeting with Jordanian Prime Minister Faisal Fayez. He said Iraq's neighbors can help Iraq in several ways other than sending troops there.

Earlier, NATO officials met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad to discuss the alliance's offer to help train Iraqi security forces. U.S. Admiral Gregory Johnson, who heads the NATO delegation, said the alliance role will depend on what is requested by Iraq's interim government.

"The political decision that has to be taken in Brussels as to those things that are needed, what NATO might want to do, might be able to do and, obviously, anything that we do will only be after we have been asked to do it by the interim Iraqi government, by the minister
of defense," Johnson said.

NATO diplomats are discussing whether to train Iraqi forces inside Iraq under a collective NATO banner or outside Iraq by individual member states. The Defense Ministry of new NATO member Slovakia today said it is considering training Iraqi military police and engineers.