On 16 September, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, Fuad Hussein, in Brussels.
They discussed issues of common interest, including EU-Iraq bilateral relations, domestic reforms and plans for early parliamentary elections in Iraq, the work of the Global Coalition against Da’esh, as well as recent regional developments.
High Representative Borrell reiterated the EU’s firm intention to further strengthen bilateral engagement and intensify dialogue and cooperation with Iraq, mainly through the full implementation of the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Meetings of the Sub-Committees on Trade and Energy under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement were identified as next institutional steps.
High Representative Borrell and Foreign Minister Hussein also discussed the ongoing cooperation between the EU and Iraq. Between 2018 and 2020, the EU mobilised 480 million euros for development, as well as a package of 159 million euros in support of Iraq’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, combining different instruments and funds, with a focus on the health and socio-economic sectors. High Representative Borrell and Foreign Minister Hussein agreed on the importance of continuing on the path of reforms in Iraq, including in the security sector.
High Representative Borrell recalled the EU’s willingness to support Iraq in addressing the challenges it was facing, and that he firmly intended to contribute to this, also in the framework of the mandate given to him by EU Foreign Ministers on 10 January, to carry out diplomatic efforts with all parties to contribute to de-escalation in the Gulf region, support political dialogue and promote a regional political solution.