Egypt proposes training Iraqi security forces

Thursday, April 15, 2004

CAIRO Egypt has proposed training Iraqi security forces.

Egyptian officials said the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak relayed a proposal for the training of Iraqi police and security forces to the Iraqi Governing Council and the United States, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the Iraqi Interior Ministry and the United States have been examining the draft.

"Egypt is prepared to provide its expertise and work with the Iraqi people to recover their sovereignty as quickly as possible," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said.

Officials said Egypt has also proposed to train Iraqi intelligence officers. They said they hope to receive a response by the Iraqi government over the next few weeks.

On Wednesday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was quoted as saying that Cairo would be prepared to train an unlimited number of Iraqi police cadets.

Mubarak told the Washington Times that Egypt would quickly train Iraqi officers for deployment in major urban areas.

"I am ready to train you some police, more police, enough police before [June 30] to work in Baghdad and some big cities," Mubarak said. "We are ready to train the maximum number of policemen in our country in a very short period of time."

Mubarak was said to have discussed Egyptian cooperation with the U.S.-led effort to stabilize Iraq during his meetings in Washington. On Monday, Mubarak met President George Bush and later was to have discussed Iraq with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Jordan has already received a contract estimated at about $1.3 billion to provide training and facilities for 32,000 Iraqi police officers. The Hashemite kingdom has also been hosting the training of Iraqi military personnel.

A U.S. Defense Department report released on Tuesday said more than two-thirds of Iraq's 75,000 police officers have not received training. The report said 16,000 Iraqi police have completed training with another 3,200 undergoing training in Jordan.

Iraq has 208,055 military and security forces out of a required 235,727 troops. The Pentagon report said the Coalition Provisional Authority exceeded its requirements in the formation of the Iraqi police and Facilities Protection Service. But Iraq remains far short of CPA goals regarding the military, Border Enforcement Department and Iraqi Civil Defense Corps.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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