BAGHDAD 

The commander of the NATO mission in Iraq said Tuesday that his organization would continue to offer training and consultancy in Iraq but would not assume the role of the US there. 

Speaking to Asia TV, Lieutenant-General Per Pugholm Olsen said NATO currently had a force of over 300 in Iraq, and the coming meetings would determine which institutions would receive consultancy and training.

Recalling an Iraqi call to increase the number of deployed NATO elements in the country, he went on to underscore that NATO would definitely not assume the US role.

Olsen also said the Iraqi government was doing its best to protect the NATO mission in Iraq from any armed threat.

In mid-February, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the organization’s defense ministers decided to send as many as 3,500 additional troops to Iraq.

*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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