The EU’s foreign affairs chief and the European Commission adopted yesterday (8 January) a Joint Communication proposing an EU strategy for Iraq in order to address the many challenges the country faces following the territorial defeat of Islamic State.
Iraq and Syria have both declared victory over Islamic State in recent weeks, after a year that saw the two countries’ armies, a range of foreign allies and various local forces drive the fighters out of all the towns and villages that once made up their self-proclaimed caliphate.
The United States has led an international coalition including France, Britain and Italy, conducting air strikes against Islamic State since 2014 when the group swept across a third of Iraq. Now EU countries redeploy their military capacity elsewhere. Italy announced it will shift military forces from Iraq to Niger. At the same time, the focus shifts from military to civilian support.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is now engaged in an effort to manage more than two million Iraqis displaced by the war against Islamic State.
But critics say he is more interested in winning elections in May than alleviating the suffering of displaced Iraqis and returning them safely home.
Authorities are sending back people against their will, refugees and aid workers say, to ensure that the election takes place on time. People must be in their area of origin to vote and if they do not get home, this could delay the election.
Abadi is riding a wave of popularity after defeating Islamic State in Iraq and is anxious the election should not be held up.
The new EU proposal outlines both ongoing and longer term EU support to the country, fully taking into account the Iraqi government’s priorities.
Source: Euroactiv. com. January 8, 2018
We propose an EU strategy for Iraq in order to strengthen support to the Iraqi people and address the many challenges the country faces following the territorial defeat of Da’esh → http://europa.eu/!fY49Vv