Arabic | Kurdish

Germany ready to 'help Iraq back on its feet'

2018/09/16 | 16:55

(Iraq Now News)- German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Iraq on Saturday to discuss her country‘s intention to develop its military assistance program in the country, Deutsche Welle reported on Sunday.

Von der Leyen said that following ISIS militant group‘s military defeat in Iraq, it is time to move forward with other endeavors, including stabilization and reconstruction.

"Now it is important to shape and protect the reconstruction of the country under a new mandate," said von der Leyen.

"Germany is ready to continue helping Iraq get back on its feet.

That is why I am here."

In February, von der Leyen said the role of the Bundeswehr — Germany‘s armed forces — needed to evolve to meet the "needs of Iraq."

At the time, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Baghdad wanted a "commitment from Germany" for "other forms of engagement," including training and logistics.

Since 2014, Germany has provided Iraq with more than €1 billion ($1.16 billion) in humanitarian and development aid, making the Middle Eastern country one of the largest recipients of German foreign assistance.

Berlin also has about 150 troops stationed in northern Iraq to train Kurdish peshmerga and runs a pilot training program north of Baghdad.

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