World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Iraq's Fate Linked To Entire Region, Says Zebari


European Parliament

Iraq's fate "will determine fate of entire region" says Foreign Minister Zebari

Security, relations with Turkey and the integrity of the country were among the issues discussed on Tuesday when Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari held talks with EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering.

The Kurds and an EU-Iraq parliamentary delegation were also discussed during Mr Zebari's visit to Brussels where he also met senior EU and NATO officials. Whilst at the EP we managed to question him on his troubled nation. He told us Iraq's fate "would determine the fate of the entire region".

In remarks after their meeting Mr Pöttering welcomed the improved security situation in the country saying that "Iraq seems to be on the right track". He also defended the integrity of the state and in a reference to tensions with Turkey he said that "no neighbouring country should interfere".

Speaking to the Parliament's website Mr Zebari gave us a frank assessment of the picture from Baghdad.

Mr Zebari, what role can the EU play in the region?

There is the EU mission in Bagdad, so the EU is represented and it has been very helpful. The EU is carrying a number of programs that involve the support for human rights and the rule of law. One of them is dedicated to training of judges and prison wardens in standards of protecting human rights. The EU is also a major donor that supports Iraq in a number of projects.

We then asked him about the situation in Iraq.

The improved security situation in Iraq is a major achievement, it is a turning point. On this basis we accordingly expect more support and more engagement from the European Union. My message is that we need a collective approach from the EU towards the situation in Iraq. Iraq is a very important country and what happens there will determine the fate of the entire region.

The President of the Iraqi Parliament Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani asked MEPs to help build a democracy in Iraq when he visited the EP last month. How can this be done?

I am very pleased that there will be an ad hoc parliamentary delegation and Iraqi parliamentarians will get support in training towards capacity building, drafting of legislation and technical areas linked to democracy. This is a new experience for Iraq and the EP has a huge expertise as an organisation as do the individual MEPs. They can help us to strengthen our democratic constitution.

On the situation in the Kurdish region of Iraq (where Turkey is considering military action against PKK attacks on its territory), what is the response of the Iraqi Government?

We understand fully the legitimate Turkish security concerns about any terrorist attack that could harm their people. On the other hand, we believe that it is the responsibility of all countries to respect the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq by not interfering or undermining the current relatively stable situation in the North and in other parts of Iraq.

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>

How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-Backed COVAX Programme

The aim of the UN-backed COVAX scheme is to get two billion vaccine doses into the arms of around a quarter of the population of poorer countries by the end of 2021. What are the main challenges that need to be overcome, if this historic global effort ... More>>