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                                     U.S. EMBASSY BAGHDAD

                                    Office of the Spokesman


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                JUNE 26, 2012

Security Seminar to Strengthen Regional Military Ties Concludes 

The three-day Iraqi Regional Security Seminar, part of the grand opening of the Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies in Baghdad, concluded on June 19, 2012.  The seminar, which featured the participation of senior Iraqi officials and international scholars and experts, focused on Iraq’s emerging role in the region and the world.  The seminar was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, in coordination with the Government of Iraq, as set out by the Strategic Framework Agreement.

Topics of discussion included regional stability, infrastructure security, political support, and strategic opportunities, to include training exercises and humanitarian operations. “We are optimistic about the future of Iraq," said Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, chief of the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq.  "Events like this week's hugely successful Iraqi Regional Security Seminar demonstrate the Iraqis' commitment to becoming a leader and producer of stability in the region.  We look forward to participating in future events at the Al-Nahrain Center, and in other interactions, such as exchanges and exercises with the Iraqis.

”In his opening address Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki noted that the center and seminar would fuse military education and strategic analysis by working closely with regional and international partners to identify opportunities and solutions that were not possible under the previous regime.The Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies reflects U.S.-Iraqi cooperation under the auspices of the Strategic Framework Agreement to strengthen security and stability in Iraq.  The center, which includes Iraq’s National Defense University and National Defense College, the Iraq War College, and the Iraq Language Institute, was established to serve as Iraq’s first strategic research institute and to build partnerships between Iraq and its neighbors throughout the region.