EU: we are ready to do more, differently and better to support Iraq and the region

The European Union supports the United Nations-led efforts to address the current situation, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Joseph Borrell, said before the Baghdad II conference taking place on the shores of the Dead Sea earlier today, Tuesday.

“Earlier this month, we participated in the International Donor Conference in Amman to enhance support regarding the repatriation and reintegration of these Iraqi citizens,” he said.

“Just last week, I, together with the 27 EU Member States’ Foreign Ministers, we reiterated that promoting peace and stability in the wider Gulf region – I want to stress, the wider Gulf region – and in the broader Middle East, are key priorities for the European Union.”

“That is why we stand ready to engage with all actors in the region in a gradual and inclusive approach. Our strategic partnership with the Gulf has proven to be a useful platform to this end and for stepping up engagement with the region,” he added.

“We have to work closely with this region on concrete global climate and environmental action because the region will have an important role to play in the green transition ahead of COP28.”

“This brings me to the keyword: energy,” he said.

“Energy has always been central to the relations of the region with Europe. Now, we are determined to end the European Union’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, while at the same time tackling the climate crisis and increasing our autonomy,” he added, “we have already intensified our engagement with oil and gas exporting countries to ensure Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) supplies to Europe and to advocate for an increase in the oil production to ensure affordability to promote energy security and an accelerated energy transition.”

“President Putin’s aggression against Ukraine has provoked the most serious case of food insecurity in decades. Many more people, millions of people are suffering from hunger due to this war,” he said, “the European Union is supporting United Nations-led efforts to address the current situation and working with our partners to promote sustainable alternative solutions in the medium and longer term. And in the short term, we are supporting the region and the most vulnerable countries in the MENA [region] with €225 million. We know that it is not enough, but it is a good example of our will to cooperate.”

“To summarise, Excellencies, we are ready to do more, differently, and better to support Iraq and the region. Because a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Iraq is essential for its people, for Europe, and for the wider region,” Borrell concluded.

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