Today I presented credentials to H.E. President Fouad Masum as Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Iraq. I am proud of this appointment by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, and feel honoured to represent the EU at such an important moment in the relations with Iraq. The fight against Da'esh is reaching a successful conclusion, showing how effective the combination of international support and the determination of the Government and the people of Iraq can be. Nevertheless, many challenges remain. These have to be addressed to prevent any relapse into conflict and to satisfy the legitimate aspiration of all Iraqis to political freedom, sustainable development and a fair share of the national wealth.
The EU remains committed to Iraq's unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and long term stability in accordance with the provisions of Iraq´s Constitution. The Constitution encompasses mechanisms to answer the political aspirations of Kurds and should be the basis for a broad national dialogue to respond to those demands.
Our security depends on the stability and prosperity of our neighbours and Iraq remains a cornerstone for the security of the region. Our partnership with Iraq is also a long term investment in building a new cooperative security architecture in the Middle East. The entry into force of the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in the immediate future will provide us with an additional effective framework to develop our relations in many different dimensions.
The EU is one of the main international donors to support the stabilisation process in the areas retaken from Da´esh with additional 60,4 million euros announced last week. In 2017, we will assist Iraq with additional 211 million euros of humanitarian, resilience and longer-term development assistance. An important aspect of our contribution is demining work, which is the sector led by the EU within the Global Coalition to counter Da´esh. The deployment of a CSDP mission has been announced yesterday at the Foreign Affairs Council, with a view to supporting civilian security sector reform and the National Security Strategy of the Government of Iraq. HR/VP Federica Mogherini has also offered her personal engagement for the reconstruction process, notably as co-host of the Conference to take place in Kuwait next January.
Finally I would like to convey the best wishes of all the European institutions and officials to the Government and the people of Iraq.