LUXEMBOURG The European Union may send a new security mission to help stabilize Iraq after the expected recapture of Mosul from Islamic State, diplomats said, cautioning that plans were at an early stage.
While a small step, any such effort could signal an end to France and Germany's aversion to European Union involvement in Middle East wars in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which Berlin and Paris opposed.
Both countries are involved separately in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, but the EU's militaries have struggled to work as a bloc despite broad know-how in non-combat training roles.
Any EU mission might dovetail with similar planning at NATO, which this month joined the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, and is considering training more Iraqi soldiers.
Islamic State is on the verge of defeat in its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul and bracing for an assault against its de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria.