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The escalating violence at protests in the southern part of Iraq, which in the last two days reportedly left at least a further six protestors dead and many more injured, underlines the urgent need for a formation of a representative new government that will respond to the aspirations of the Iraqi people.
The European Union calls on the Iraqi security forces to show maximum restraint and for protesters to keep protests peaceful.
The EU looks forward to the formation of a government as soon as possible so that multiple challenges Iraq faces are addressed. The challenges include the stabilisation of areas liberated from Da'esh, the return of close to two million IPDs, corruption and poor services and a range of economic challenges, as reflected in the legitimate grievances expressed by protesters.
The European Union will remain a strong partner and supporter of Iraq, including through its €400 million pledge at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq in February and its EU Assistance Mission for civilian security sector reform. We will work with the new government in support of the stability, security, inclusive democracy and prosperity that all Iraqis deserve.