Iraq faces complex challenges. Following years of conflict, the country on the rivers Euphrates and Tigris needs to find its own ways to carry out the necessary political, economic and social reforms. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel travelled to Iraq on Tuesday evening (18 April) to underline how Germany can accompany Iraq on this path.
In his talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, Gabriel stressed Germany’s comprehensive support. © Florian Gaertner/photothek.de
Gabriel’s schedule on Wednesday (19 April) included talks with President Fuad Masoum and Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, in which he made clear that Germany supported the Iraqi Government in many areas. This support went far beyond Germany’s role in the fight against IS. Germany is pursuing a comprehensive approach to stabilisation, which includes humanitarian aid, strengthening the Iraqi security forces and reconstruction support.
Foreign Minister Gabriel said that Germany was making a key contribution in this area and had already provided a billion euros in support to Iraq since 2014. “However,” he added, “money alone will not be enough. In the end, the country’s stability will depend on the Government’s planned reforms, which must now be put into practice.”
Reconciliation and reconstruction – creating opportunities for the region
Foreign Minister Gabriel met Monsignor Pius Qasha, Vicar General of the Syrian Catholic archdiocese of St Joseph in Baghdad. © Florian Gaertner/photothke.de
Gabriel also met representatives of churches and civil society in Baghdad in order to learn more about the conflicts in the country. He was impressed by his interlocutors. “There is great optimism,” he said. In order to rebuild Iraq, it was vital that the internal reconciliation process make headway and that the country be kept together.
Iraq’s economic development is also an important factor for stabilisation. “Iraq has considerable economic potential. And the reform processes that have been launched are the most important means of reviving this potential.” It was now important to form a state free of corruption, with a functioning public administration and, above all, a trustworthy and independent judiciary. Otherwise, there would be hardly any international investment. Rebuilding the country – as regards both its economy and society – is thus the main priority. “Ultimately, security can only be created if two things happen – IS is defeated and the country is developed, thus creating opportunities. As Germans, we are committed to making this happen.”
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Source: Federal Foreign Office