The occupation of Mosul has finally come to an end: the Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi announced the liberation of the city by the Iraqi armed forces, with the support of the Global Coalition to counter Da'esh.
The recovery of Mosul from the hands of Da'esh marks a decisive step in the campaign to eliminate terrorist control in parts of Iraq and to free its people. The EU pays tribute to the courage of the peopleof Iraq, its Government and the armed forces, and to the sacrifice in military and civilian lives that the Iraqi people have made to achieve this victory. It reiterates the importance of protecting civilian lives for the success of the campaign and for the reconciliation of the population afterwards, both in Mosul and in the campaign to liberate the remaining areas of resistance elsewhere in the country.
It is now essential that a process of return and the re-establishment of trust between communities begins, and that all Iraqis are able to start building a shared future. The EU pledges to continue its support to Iraq in the humanitarian, security, stabilisation and reconciliation challenges it still faces.