EU welcomes Iraq’s proposed national dialogue, including Kurdistan Region
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The European Union (EU) on Tuesday welcomed a national dialogue proposed by Iraq’s prime minister to resolve outstanding issues in the country, including with the autonomous Kurdistan Region, a European envoy said.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Monday called for a “deep national dialogue” to solve the outstanding issues facing Iraq, including problems between Baghdad and Erbil, following a three-day visit by Pope Francis.
“I welcome PM Al-Kadhimi’s call for an Iraqi National Dialogue,” EU Ambassador to Iraq Martin Huth tweeted, saying the bloc “supported the idea of reinforcing the state-citizen relation in Iraq and rebuilding the social contract between all Iraqis.”
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday welcomed the premier's call and expressed his support for the invitation.
“If so desired, we stand by to assist such an Iraqi-lead and -owned process,” Huth added.
I welcome PM Al-Kadhimi’s call for an Iraqi National Dialogue. The EU actively supported the idea of reinforcing the state-citizen relation in Iraq and rebuilding the social contract between all Iraqis. If so desired, we stand by to assist such an Iraqi-lead and -owned process!— Martin Huth 🇪🇺 🇮🇶 (@EUAmbIraq) March 9, 2021
Kadhimi’s comments came as the head of the Catholic Church departed Baghdad after a three-day trip to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region that included meetings with top religious and political figures.
The Kurdistan Region’s share in the federal budget is one of the main points of contention with Baghdad, which has long hindered progress on a lasting deal between the two.
Iraq faces numerous challenges, from fiscal to security, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated political instability.
On top of the threat posed by remnants of the Islamic State terror group, a recent slew of rocket attacks from militias have targeted military and diplomatic installations in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly