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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Germany partners with Iraq, United Arab Emirates for training

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An agreement between Iraq, Germany and the United Arab Emirates to jointly train Iraqi military forces is clearing the way for the preparation and equipping of an Iraqi engineering unit.

The agreement, signed during German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's March 4-5 visit to the UAE, has Germany supplying instructors and equipment such as graders, bulldozers, 20-ton cranes and cement mixers to the unit, which will consist of 250 Iraqi trainees. The UAE will cover the expenses for the trainers, trainees and interpreters, according to German Embassy officials.

Bruska Noori Shaways, Secretary General of Iraq's Ministry of Defense, and Lt. Gen. Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithy, chief of staff of the UAE Armed Forces, represented their respective countries in the agreement.

Germany and the UAE have previously cooperated in the training of Iraqi troops. In November 2004, 122 Iraqi personnel were trained to operate, repair and maintain 100 Daimler-Mercedes five-ton trucks that Germany sold to the UAE. The UAE paid to transport the trucks to Iraq, along with the expenses of the German trainers, translators and Iraqi trainees.

Germany has also been involved in helping to train Iraqi civil police, providing about a dozen high-level trainers last year to teach 431 Iraqi police officers the fundamentals of crime scene investigation.

More recently, 30 Iraqi police officers are going through a four-week personal protection training program led by eight German instructors. That training is designed for Iraqi police officers who will be protecting Iraqi politicians.

The same group of Iraqi police officers will continue with a course on hostage rescue techniques, with training provided by UAE police. Germany will provide radios, some weapons, ammunition and other equipment for the training, which will be conducted at a UAE facility.

Germany hopes to fulfill an Iraqi request in the future to provide training in explosive ordnance detachment tactics, officials said.

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