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Germany

Iraqi Officers to Be Trained in Bavaria

NATO plans to use bases in Germany to train Iraqi military recruits within the framework of its Iraqi aid program. According to diplomatic sources, places in Bavaria such as Oberammergau are likely to be used to train Iraqi officers. The training is expected to begin this year before Iraqi elections scheduled to be held early 2005. The training in Bavaria will be part of the military alliance's commitment to help the fledgling Iraqi army. It still remains unclear how many NATO soldiers will be sent to Iraq. Diplomats say "a couple of hundred" experts will be sent to a training center that will be guarded by NATO soldiers. Germany has agreed to participate in the NATO program only outside Iraqi borders. It is currently training Iraqi police officers in the United Arab Emirates and has also agreed to deliver 20 armored vehicles to Iraq.