Joint press conference by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, Ibrahim Al-Jafaari, Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs
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"Thank you very much Minister for the warm welcome we received.
I am particularly glad to pay my first visit in Baghdad, although it does not mean that this is the first time we meet.
We had the chance to meet already in New York at the UN General Assembly in my previous capacity and most recently also in Brussels. These continuous contacts and the fact that I wanted to pay this visit so soon in my mandate carry the meaning of the high importance that the success of Iraq has for the European Union.
Iraq is important for the European Union for two different reasons: on one side we are aware of the challenges you have in front of you in fighting Da’esh and we are together with you in this fight. We share with you the awareness of the fact that this is a military and a security fight but it is also a political and a cultural one. It is a fight that concerns all Iraqis, all the people in the region but also Europeans and people around the world.
The second reason for which it is so important for the European Union to be here and to support you is that we need this region to find stability, security and prosperity. I very much welcome the new government’s efforts on the reforms and on inclusivity. Please be reassured that the EU will be ready to use all the instruments it has - notably on the humanitarian side and development cooperation- to work together for all the Iraqi people to have a better future.
The best possible way to face the challenge and the threat of Da’esh is by showing that, in a country as complicated and beautiful as this one, it is possible to live together in unity and in respect of all differences, but together.
On regional diplomacy, the Minister mentioned our intention for the EU to fully play its role here. We know that a big part of the challenge is the fight against DA'ESH, but also to make Iraq work at its best. You can count on the European Union to work on regional diplomacy with all actors that are relevant in the region."