Germany beefs up UAE-based military help for Iraq

Filed on March 5, 2005

ABU DHABI - Germany pledged on Saturday in Abu Dhabi to beef up its UAE-based military support for Iraq, while also signing an agreement to provide the UAE with 32 specially-equipped reconnaissance vehicles.

Under agreements signed on the final day of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s week-long tour of the Gulf region, the German military is to establish a battalion-strength combat engineers unit in the UAE to help train Iraqi forces in road repairs.

The new unit will receive 2 million euros (2.6 million dollars) worth of equipment including ten heavy-duty transport vehicles. Iraqi forces will also be equipped with ambulance vehicles as well.

Germany’s military is also to provide training, in Germany, to Iraqi troops in removing and disposing of ordnance.

The agreements on the new assistance came as Schroeder met with Iraqi and Emirates military officers in Abu Dhabi for a briefing on the training support which Germany has so far provided Iraqi’s military in the UAE.

Germany last year supplied 100 lorries for Iraq’s military and trained 120 lorry drivers in the UAE.

In another agreement, Germany is to sell 32 Fox NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) reconnaissance vehicles to the UAE in a deal worth 160 million euros.

So far, Saudi Arabia has been the only country in the region to receive the Fox NBC reconnaissance vehicles. Other countries in the region such as Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, have expressed interest in the vehicles, built by the weaponry concern Rheinmetall.

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