France, Iraq reach defense pacts on ordnance, personnel

10:28, November 19, 2009      

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Iraq and France have reached several "important" pacts on ordnance and defense personnel exchange, the visiting Iraqi Defense Minister Abdelkader Jassem al-Obeidi announced Wednesday.

"Iraq has accepted many important French armaments," Obeidi said at French Defense Ministry with his French counterpart Herv Morin at side.

Following an order of 24 transport helicopters EC 635, worth around 500 million U.S. dollars, from France in March, Iraq are engaging in "other types of armaments" this time, Obeidi said without elaboration.

The Iraqi minister regarded France-Iraq cooperation as "the rapidest and simplest way for Iraq to recover capability to defense its air space, territorial sea and territory."

Contracts between the two sides on Monday cover personnel training and ordnance purchasing, which would allow Iraqi officers to France as well as French experts to Iraq, local media reported.

"We are extremely open to develop our military cooperation further than what we have today," Morin said, confirming Iraqi officers will be welcomed to French Military School in Paris.

Source: Xinhua
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