NATO top brass rec­om­mend join­ing anti-IS coali­tion

The Daily Observer - - WORLD NEWS -

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.

VIRGINIA MAYO/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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