German minister heads for UAE to discuss training of Iraqi soldiers

German Interior Minister Otto Schily travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday to discuss the modalities concerning the training of Iraqi police by German officers, a spokeswoman at his ministry said.

Schily will stay in the UAE until late Tuesday to evaluate the needs and working conditions for the mission that calls for Germany to train members of the Iraqi police force as criminal investigators.

The number of officers involved and the cost of the operation is not known, the spokeswoman had said on Thursday. Schily was expected to discuss security and technical issues, and logistics, interior ministry spokesman Rainer Lingenthal said.

The language issue is widely seen as a major problem during the training mission as only a few people are familiar with technical police terms and speak both German and Arabic."

This is an ambitious project," Lingenthal said, adding that teaching the rule of law to people of a different culture was a challenge.

The daily Die Welt reported on Thursday that Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who was opposed to the US-led invasion of Iraq, no longer ruled out making a military contribution in the war-torn country and would be ready to send medical evacuation airplanes.

France and Germany offered on Sunday to help bolster security in Iraq; just days after the United States reversed its decision to bar their firms from bidding on lucrative reconstruction contracts.

In separate announcements, Paris said it could send a mission to train Iraqi police, while Berlin said it could offer humanitarian aid.

Both missions however would take place only after a transitional Iraqi government takes over from the US-backed Governing Council on June 30.

"We are already working on the possibility of responding in the area of security, in particular through the creation of a school for gendarmes or by training police," Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told journalists in Paris.

[Source: Hi Pakistan, 18Jan04]

War in Iraq

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