"A first group of 500 policemen and troops are expected to arrive in Jordan in December to undergo a training session that will last eight weeks," a Jordanian official told AFP on Wednesday.

He said that the police recruits would train in facilities erected in eastern Jordan while the troops would take their courses in the military academy in Amman. 

According to the official this initial training session is aimed at "forming instructors" who will later train other policemen and troops inside Iraq. 

More recruits

A second group of 1000 recruits is also expected in Jordan "quickly", the official said. 

Jordan's King Abd Allah announced in an interview with AFP in
September that about 32,000 Iraqi police would train in the kingdom, although he ruled out the dispatch of Jordanian forces to neighbouring Iraq. 

Last week Jordanian officials announced that a first batch of 27 Iraqi air controllers had recently completed a three-week training course in Jordan and that a second group was due in the country in early 2004.