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NATO Deputy SecGen Geoana: Romania to be asked directly how it wants to contribute to presence in Iraq

NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said on Friday that he has no details on how Romania wants to contribute to increasing the Alliance's presence in Iraq, approved on Thursday in a NATO defense ministers' meeting, but that Romania will be asked directly about this, depending on the mission profile and the specializations required.

"The defense ministers approved yesterday [Thursday - ed.n.], at the proposal of our military commanders, this directive to initiate the new stage of a more ambitious presence in Iraq. (....) Iraq remains a very important area and we must remain vigilant and help the Iraqi institutions become stronger and more capable of fighting against the risks of terrorism and in general against the more complicated elements in that region," Mircea Geoana told an online briefing for the Romanian journalists.

"I know that we want to have civilian specialists, not only military, so that we can be sure that we provide, on the side of political control, not just on the side of the relationship, with the citizens, included, that type of counseling, training and education they need," he added, when asked what the enhanced NATO presence in Iraq might mean from Romania's point of view.

He said that "most likely" some of the national contingents participating in the other US-led operation, aimed at fighting the Islamic State group, "will displace or practically move the command of their presence already in the US operation in Iraq to the NATO operation in Iraq".

"The offer is quite diverse and each country, depending on availability and political interest, will be able to contribute within a matrix of contributions that is currently known by our military with NATO and will be discussed and tendered to the individual allies in the next period," specified Geoana.