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In December 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi officially declared the military defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq. Nevertheless, the organization continues to threaten the stability of the country with terror attacks. The mandate of the German army training mission in Erbil will expire in late April 2018. From 27 February to 2 March, an Iraqi delegation visited Berlin on invitation of KAS and discussed the future of the German support for the country. Moreover, the talks focused on the looming conflict between Baghdad and Erbil and the upcoming general elections in Iraq.

The Iraqi delegation was led by Abdulbari Al-Zebary, Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Iraqi Council of Representatives. Besides him, the delegation included two additional parliamentarians from Baghdad, Sadiq Al-Rikabi, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Hamid Al-Mutlaq, Member of the Defence Committee. The Iraqi government was represented by Dr. Safaa Al-Sheikh, Deputy National Security Advisor, and General Muhammed Al-Shammari, Deputy Head of the National Operations Center. Moreover, three representatives of the civil society also participated in the delegation visit: Ali Al-Mawlawi, Research Director at the KAS partner Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies, Hekmat Al-Dulaimi, a political activist from Anbar, and Dr. Athmar Al-Shatari, Professor at Baghdad University.

The delegation held talks with Dr. Ralf Brauksiepe, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Dr. Emily Haber, State Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Ambassador Ekkehard Brose, Envoy for Crisis Prevention and Stabilization, Ambassador Dr. Philipp Ackermann, Regional Envoy for the Near and Middle East as well as North Africa, and representatives of the Chancellery and the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. In the German Bundestag, the Iraqi decision-makers discussed with Dr. Johann Wadephul, Deputy Head of the CDU/CSU faction in the field of foreign affairs and defense, Jürgen Hardt, Spokesperson on foreign affairs of the CDU/CSU faction, and Roderich Kiesewetter, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Moreover, the Iraqi delegation visited the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).

Iraq “could function as a bridge” in the region

The Iraqi delegation thanked the German side for the German engagement in Iraq and stressed its desire to further deepen German-Iraqi relations. Besides economic cooperation, the Iraqi decision makers particularly asked for further German support in the fight against terrorism, demobilization of militias, strengthening of Iraqi institutions, the reconstruction of the liberated areas, economic reforms and the development of the Iraqi civil society.

The German representatives congratulated the Iraqi delegation on the successful fight against ISIS and stressed that Germany will remain an important partner of Iraq and seeks a long-term engagement in Iraq. Member of parliament Dr. Wadephul stressed that Iraq “could function as a bridge” in regional conflicts and that it constitutes a “key state” for the peace in the Middle East. He assured that “our support in the fields of humanitarian and developmental aid, security and economy will be sustainable. We are supporting the vision of a unified, stable, pluralistic and democratic Iraq.”

In the discussions, the German representatives underlined the need for Iraq to start a reconciliation process to prevent a further fragmentation and polarization of the country. In this context, they urged both the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to solve their conflict by both making concessions and stressed the importance of successfully holding the general elections in Iraq in May 2018.

About this Serial

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at www.kas.de. In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.

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Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.


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