NATO top brass recommend joining anti-IS coalition
NATO top brass are recommending that the military alliance join the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group. U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded that NATO do more to combat terrorism.
NATO Military Committee head Gen. Petr Pavel said Wednesday that “there is a merit for NATO becoming a member of that coalition.” Pavel said armed forces chiefs agreed “that NATO can and should do more” to increase the capacity of Iraq and other countries fighting IS to better defend themselves.
NATO’s role could include training local forces and helping to build militaries and institutions. NATO countries do not want the alliance engaged in active combat against Islamic State militants, even though all are individual members of the anti-IS coalition. Trump is scheduled to meet NATO leaders in Brussels next week.
Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition will seek an extension of the current round of UN-hosted peace talks underway in Geneva, saying Wednesday it needed more negotiating time. Salem Meslet, an opposition spokesman, said it was “not right” that this round is expected to last just four days. The opposition needed time to prepare its response to a “paper” presented by UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday, when the sixth round of the talks started.
Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee Gen. Petr Pavel delivers the opening address during a meeting of NATO chiefs of defence at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.