EU: Kuwait conf. important for Iraq’s reconstruction

The European Union (EU) stressed Monday that the upcoming Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, co-chaired by the EU, represents an opportunity for the Government of Iraq to continue to manage the transition from stabilisation to reconstruction.

EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels today said in a statement that the Kuwait conference will focus also on continued humanitarian needs, in a structured and coordinated manner with its international partners.

“The Conference will also be an important opportunity to demonstrate Iraq’s commitment to economic and social reforms which are crucial to mobilise much needed international support for reconstruction and longer term recovery,” it noted.

The Council adopted a new EU strategy on Iraq which underlined the European bloc?’s commitment to fostering regional dialogue and welcomed Iraq?’s continued diplomatic engagement with neighbouring countries.

The statement encouraged all the countries of the region to play a constructive role, to sustain and increase their support to Iraq, and to continue supporting Iraq’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The EU underlines the importance for the prosperity of Iraq and its neighbours of improved regional cooperation,” it said.

It noted that stabilisation efforts must be Iraqi-led, but supported by, and coordinated with, the international community, including the United Nations and the Stabilisation Working Group of the Global Coalition against IS (Daesh).

The EU expressed support to Iraqi and international efforts to hold members of Daesh to account and ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The EU reaffirmed its commitment to a strong EU-Iraq partnership, underpinned by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), and to supporting the Iraqi authorities in the reconstruction phase and in tackling the underlying political, social and economic drivers of instability.

The statement noted that the national elections will be an opportunity to build a more inclusive and democratic state which works in the interests of all Iraqis.

The EU encouraged the Iraqi Government to maintain their course towards national elections in May 2018, which it said must be legitimate and democratic.

“Full participation of all components of Iraqi society, including the Kurdistan region, will be crucial to ensure that the elections promote truly representative institutions and inclusive governance,” it added

Source: Kuwait News Agency