Cairo, Jan 18: Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed the future relations between Baghdad and the alliance, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“During the phone conversation, the parties discussed the situation in Iraq and the [Middle East] region. They also considered the future [Iraqi] relations with the alliance and the mechanisms of cooperation,” the statement said on late Friday.
The Iraqi foreign minister pointed out the need to boost Baghdad’s role in ensuring national sovereignty. Stoltenberg stressed that NATO had a great potential to make a significant contribution to ensuring stability in the Middle East as well as fighting international terrorism. The secretary general added that any possible NATO activities in the Middle East would take place in cooperation with regional nations.
Earlier in January, the Iraqi parliament decided to expel foreign troops after the United States killed one of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' top generals, Qasem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iraqi Shia militia, near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3. At the same time, US President Donald Trump said that NATO should boost its presence in the Middle East. (UNI-Sputnik)