04:07 GMT18 February 2020
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    The meeting of NATO's defence ministers comes a day after North Macedonian lawmakers ratified a protocol on the country's accession to the bloc by an overwhelming majority.

    Speaking to reporters at a press conference on the first day of the NATO ministers’ meeting, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the bloc's member states have agreed to take on some of training of Iraqi troops that had previously been carried out by the US-led coalition.

    "Today, allied ministers ... agreed in principle to enhance NATO's training mission," Stoltenberg told reporters.

    He went on to say that the bloc states are in Iraq "on the invitation of Baghdad, adding that they will only stay there as long as they are "welcome."

    Prior to the meeting, Stoltenberg held another press conference on Tuesday, touching upon the recent escalation of tensions in Syria's Idlib Province as well as the possible deployment of new anti-missile systems in Europe.

    The meeting was focused on key issues, including the Alliance’s training mission in Iraq and the fight against international terrorism. Ministers will also discuss NATO’s presence in Afghanistan, the challenges posed by Russia’s missile systems and NATO-EU cooperation.

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    Jens Stoltenberg, summit, press conference, Europe, NATO
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