EU’s Mogherini supports Iraq’s peace proposal over U.S., Iran tension

BAGHDAD, July 13 — The European Union (EU)’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini said on Saturday that the EU supports Iraq’s proposal to hold peace conference to ease tensions between the United States and Iran.

Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for Foreign affairs and Security Policy and European Commission vice president, made her comment during a joint press conference with the Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim during her official visit to the Iraqi capital Baghdad earlier in the day.

“We support completely the idea of regional conference that Iraqi is proposing and the EU is fully behind that and fully ready to support this idea,” Mogherini told reporters.

Mogherini said that she held talks with the Iraqi leaders and discussed the need to ease tensions and to pursue means to hold dialogue to avoid serious consequences of miscalculations.

A statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said al-Hakim met with Mogherini and the two sides discussed the relations between Iraq and the EU and means to promote them.

Mogherini stressed that “the EU is continuing to work with Iraq to achieve the goals set by the reconstruction conference held in Kuwait in February 2018 in order to provide a better future for the people of Iraq,” the statement said.

She confirmed that the EU has contributed 1.2 billion euros (1.35 billion U.S. dollars) in humanitarian assistance, stabilization, economic development, and security cooperation since 2014, according to the statement.

The two sides held extensive discussions on the latest developments in the Middle East and affirmed their common commitment to peace and stability in the region, the statement said.

The two sides also agreed on the need to reduce the escalation of current tensions in the region and warned of their consequences, expressing their common desire to support activities and initiatives to promote dialogue instead of confrontation, it added.

Mogherini also met with the Iraqi President Barham Salih, who confirmed that “Iraq is keen through its international relations to establish peace and stability and to calm the crises in the region and the world,” a statement by the presidency office said.

Salih stressed the need to work together to spare the peoples of the region the scourge of war, pointing out the importance of coordination and consultation with the EU on current issues and developments, the statement said.

During the meeting, Mogherini confirmed EU’s support for Iraq’s stability and its balanced policy towards the international issues, and renewed commitment to work with Iraq to achieve the goals set by the reconstruction conference held in Kuwait last year, it added.

Mogherini also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi who confirmed that “Iraq gave a high price for its victory over Daesh (Islamic State group), and the results of this victory is important for Iraq, the region and the world, including the European Union,” according to a statement by Abdul Mahdi’s office.

He said that the world countries must look at Iraq as a state which has begun to settle down after long wars, and therefore we need some kind of positive recognition, the statement said.
For her part, Mogherini stressed that the main purpose of her visit to Baghdad is to emphasize the EU’s support for Iraq politically, morally and financially, the statement added.

Mogherini, on her second visit to Iraq since 2014, also met with the Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi and discussed with him bilateral relations as well as the EU’s support to the Iraqi government, according to a statement by al-Halbousi’s media office.

Mogherini is scheduled to fly to neighboring Kuwait with the aim of strengthening EU’s relation with it and to further enhance its engagement with the region.¬†Xinhua