On the occasion of the Middle East crisis, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a sudden meeting with the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels these days. Prior to that meeting, he spoke at a press conference saying that it was good that the crisis in the Middle East is gradually calming down and stated that the European Union, NATO and the Global Coalition to Fight the Islamic State must continue to be united in supporting Iraq and engaged in the training of that country’s security forces.
“It is of particular importance at this moment to carry out investigations about the causes of the crash of the Ukrainian passenger plane. I call on Iran to fully cooperate in it and to contribute to making the investigation as transparent as possible. We have seen that the crisis has gradually started to calm down and we must therefore continue to work on it. It is in no one’s interest to break new conflict in the Middle East”, Stoltenberg stressed.
He also said he had spoken with Iraqi Prime Minister Al Mahdi and had told him that training for Iraqi Security Forces would continue as soon as the security situation is fully improved and stabilized. Stoltenberg stressed that the Islamic State has not yet been completely defeated and that it is therefore essential to continue training the security forces in the Middle East. He said he had spoken with President Trump this week and that the first US man had urged NATO to continue fighting terrorism. Responding to journalists’ questions about the crash of the Ukrainian plane, Stoltenberg said that information received from individual member states of that alliance clearly led to the conclusion that the plane was shot and hit by Iran’s air defense. About the Libyan crisis, he said there had been no call for greater NATO involvement in the country so far. He also said that members of that alliance agreed that they should continue to support the government in the country recognized by the United Nations. Talking about the extent of NATO engagement in the Middle East, he explained that the Western military alliance was engaged in training security forces in Afghanistan and was active in Jordan and Tunisia.