Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (25 March) on today’s decision by the German Bundestag to extend the mandate to counter IS:
IS continues to pose a threat to the region, Europe and the world. In the current situation, we must ensure that IS does not benefit from regional upheaval. To this end, it is imperative that we continue serving as a reliable partner in a way that goes beyond our extensive humanitarian and stabilisation engagement. Our partners in the Global Coalition against Daesh have asked us to do so, and this is also what the Iraqi Government wants.
We are adhering to our plans and at the same time adapting to new requirements. The Tornado reconnaissance mission will be ended. The airtoair refuelling, which we provide to help other nations conducting reconnaissance in the Global Coalition against Daesh, will be extended. With the option of also training Iraqi armed and security forces as part of the NATO mission in Iraq, we are supporting the future takeover of several training fields by NATO from the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh and thus taking into account the wishes of our Iraqi partners.