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NATO Participation in Iraq Stabilization Force


NATO Takes Step towards Participation in Iraq Stabilization Force

(May 21, NATO military authorities help Poland plan to lead sector of stabilization force)

The North Atlantic Council agreed to start planning to help Poland lead a sector in a international stabilization force in Iraq, NATO announced May 21.

The Council will ask NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the Alliance's planning organization, to meet with Polish authorities and provide a list of what support can be given, said NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson.

"The first important, indeed critical step, was taken today by unanimity in the Council, but it is a tasking of the NMA (NATO military authorities) to provide advice," he said.

Following is the text of the NATO press conference:

NATO Update 21 May 2003 NATO COUNCIL MAKES DECISION ON POLISH REQUEST

The North Atlantic Council has today unanimously decided to task NATO's military authorities to provide advice as soon as possible on the Polish request for NATO support in the context of their leadership of a sector in a stabilization force in Iraq.

Speaking at a press conference, the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson, announced the decision.

"As you are aware, the Polish government requested of NATO support to Poland, in the context of their leadership of a sector in a stabilization force in Iraq. The Council has unanimously decided today to task the NATO military authorities to provide advice as soon as possible on the Polish request for NATO support to Poland, and have authorized SHAPE to liaise with the Polish military authority to clarify their requirements."

Lord Robertson went on to explain that the first stage of the process is to ask the military authorities to provide a list of what support can be given, with all of the implications. NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, the Alliance's planning organization, will liaise with Polish authorities to define needs and how best they can be addressed.

"The first important, indeed critical step, was taken today by unanimity in the Council, but it is a tasking of the NMA (NATO military authorities) to provide advice," Lord Robertson said.


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