BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has ordered light military equipment from China worth $100 million because the United States is unable to meet Baghdad’s requirements, the Washington Post reported President Jalal Talabani as saying.
The weapons are intended for Iraq’s police where only one in five officers are armed, it quoted Talabani as saying in an article published on its Web site on Thursday.
The Iraqi president also called for faster U.S. weapons deliveries to strengthen Iraq’s army.
“The capacity of the factories here are not enough to provide us quickly with all that we need, even for the army,” the newspaper quoted Talabani, who is visiting the United States, as saying.
“One of our demands is to accelerate the delivery of the arms to the Iraqi army”.
Last week the Pentagon said it was ready to sell Iraq weapons worth up to $2.3 billion to help its army expand and take over missions now carried out by U.S. and other foreign forces.
It said the sale would include vehicles, small arms ammunition, explosives and communications equipment, as well as upgrades to 32 additional UH-1 helicopters.
The newspaper said U.S. officials conceded Washington faced problems delivering everything Baghdad needed.
“We’re working hard just to supply our own troops,” an administration official told the newspaper.
“Our factories are working for our own troops. So it’s true we don’t have the ability to provide these rifles and other equipment they’re looking for.”