Sudani, NATO Mission Discuss Fighting Terrorism, Cyber Threat

Sudani, NATO Mission Discuss Fighting Terrorism, Cyber Threat

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa Al-Sudani held talks on Sunday with the Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mission in Iraq, General Jose Antonio Martinez, and his accompanying delegation.

The discussions focused on the mission’s objectives, amid renewed debate about the foreign military presence in Iraq following the death of a French NATO soldier.

A statement issued by the Iraqi government said the meeting discussed cooperation between both sides in training, advising, and increasing the capabilities of the Iraqi armed forces along with their ongoing military operations against the remnants of terrorism.
The NATO mission in Iraq also presented a final report assessing cybersecurity threats in Iraq, the statement read.

Sudani expressed his appreciation for the mission’s work, affirming that Iraq remains committed to implementing its cybersecurity strategy, which was adopted in 2022 by the Ministerial Council for National Security.
He also highlighted the establishment of a high-level cybersecurity committee to coordinate and intensify efforts among various relevant authorities.
The death of a French soldier serving alongside Iraqi forces sparked a debate on whether the NATO missions in Iraq are restricted to training, advice, and arming or whether there are direct combat missions, a matter that Iraq denies.
There is mainly an objection to the presence of American forces in Iraq. The Iraqi forces especially the armed faction loyal to Iran see that the American combat forces didn’t fully withdraw from Iraqi soil.
The Iraqi governments didn’t implement a parliament decision taken in January 2020 to withdraw the American forces three days after the killing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander of the al-Quds Brigade, Qassem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), by an American airstrike on Baghdad International Airport.
Commenting on the cyber threats in Iraq, a well-informed source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iraqi government shows seriousness and interest in this paramount field.
But Iraq still needs a cybersecurity infrastructure, which is in the process of taking a complete shape, added the source.
Speaking about the role of the NATO mission in this regard, the source noted that NATO is an advisory party, and it presents applicable visions in cyber security.
Trend Micro Inc., a multinational cyber security software company, announced in July the findings of its annual report which revealed a significant 55% increase in global threat detections.

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