Germany ready to continue, expand Iraqi police training

Germany is prepared to resume training &to=' target=_blank>Iraqi police officers and to expand the program if Baghdad wants it to do so, an official said Wednesday.

Germany's program to train members of the Iraqi police, which has been taking place in the United Arab Emirates, is currently under review by Baghdad.

Government spokesman Thomas Steg said, however, that Berlin is ready to resume _ and if needed expand _ the program should the Iraqi government request it.

"We are prepared to continue what we are doing and also to expand (the program), depending on what the new Iraqi government asks of us," Steg said at a regular news conference.

Germany refused to send soldiers to participate in either the U.S.-led Iraq war or the ensuing international security force in the country, choosing instead to train Iraqi soldiers and police in the UAE.

New Chancellor Angela Merkel, who sets off Thursday for her first visit to the U.S. since taking office, has signaled a new tone in relations with Washington.

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