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Estonian and Danish cooperation is expanding to Iraq

22. June 2016 - 11:11

Today, during his visit to Estonia, Danish Minster of Defence Peter Christensen discussed Operation Inherent Resolve – the training mission in Iraq in which instructors from the Estonian Defence Forces will begin contributing as part of the Danish contingent, with Estonian Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso. The ministers also discussed topics related to the NATO Warsaw Summit.

Minister of Defence Hanso thanked his Danish colleague for the opportunity to participate alongside the Danish forces on the mission, the purpose of which is to train Iraqi security forces in their fight against the terrorist organisation ISIS. Last week, the Riigikogu approved a mandate for servicemen to participate in Iraq.

“NATO is a powerful defensive organisation, and its members must help each other. While the provocative behaviour of Russia is a priority for us, several of our allies are greatly concerned with the situation on the other side of the Mediterranean," said Hanso. “We can hope for the support of our allies when we ourselves are ready to provide our own contribution to ensuring our common security, particularly where the need for it is strong. One such area is Iraq, which is the reason we are going there with the Danes.“

At their meeting, the Ministers of Defence discussed the decisions to be approved at the NATO Summit in Warsaw concerning the increased presence of Allied forces, including the more specific contributions to be made by participating countries. It is presumed that Denmark will make a decision regarding the possible contribution of a unit to the Baltic States in the coming weeks.

According to Hanso, our allies have seen the need to send a clear and united message that aggressive behaviour is not acceptable in international communication today.

“The increased presence of Allies in our region, approved last week by the NATO Ministers of Defence, is a political deterrent that is also militarily credible,” said Hanso. “As such, what is at stake here is not only the ensuring of the security of our Allies in the region, but also the credibility of NATO as a defence organisation.”

Denmark and Estonia are connected by long-standing defence related cooperation. Among other things, a Danish division has offered division level training to our 1st Infantry Brigade Staff since 2009. The Danes have contributed a great deal to the development of the Baltic Defence College and have participated in several military training exercises. Denmark will soon be contributing its officers to the operation of the NATO staff element in Tallinn.

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