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Stoltenberg: NATO will not take part in combat operations in Syria or Iraq
NATO will not participate in combat operations against the terrorist group Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) in Syria or Iraq, its Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Berlin after talks with Germany's Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.
"If NATO joins the coalition, it will not change the role of NATO. We will continue to provide support, we will continue to focus on training. NATO will not be engaged in combat operations," he said.
Merkel voiced the certainty that a final decision on that issue would be made at NATO's summit in Brussels on May 25.
"We are in talks over whether NATO should officially become part of the coalition. These consultations are going on. I promised to the secretary-general we will continue them. We hope to be finished by May 25," she said.
For the time being NATO provides intelligence information for the coalition from its AWACS planes and trains Iraq's security forces.
[Source: Itar Tass, Berlin, 11May17]
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