"The European Union strongly supports Iraq's policy of balanced outreach to all its neighbours", said EEAS Secretary General Helga Schmid at the launch event in Córdoba on 3 July. "Given the current tensions in the region, providing avenues for dialogue and regional cooperation is more important than ever."
Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Nazar Khairallah, also attended the event.
The project, entitled “Iraq and its Neighbours – Enhancing Dialogue and Regional Integration in West Asia", envisages a series of bilateral and multilateral workshops bringing together civil society advisers from Iraq and its immediate neighbours Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait, with the aim of creating tangible avenues for cooperation and coordination on issues of shared interest and concern.
They will also discuss the current and future role of the European Union both in Iraq and the region as a whole.
The European Union and its Member States are strongly committed to the stabilisation and reconstruction of Iraq, as well as to advancing regional peace and security through multilateral dialogue and cooperation. The EU institutions alone have provided more than 1.2 billion euros to Iraq since 2014 in support of efforts to tackle Da'esh. In February 2018, the EU and its Member States pledged 1.25 billion euros in grants for the reconstruction of Iraq. In August 2018, a new EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement entered into force, providing a framework for deeper political and economic relations.
The "Iraq and its Neighbours" project will run over 18 months and is an initiative of the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the EastWest Institute (EWI).