Supporting the balanced approach
Germany is one of Iraq's most important bilateral partners and is supporting the country on the road to stability after the end of the IS reign of terror. In Iraq, Minister of State Annen had talks inter alia with Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali Alhakim in Baghdad and with Safeen Dizayee, the Head of Department of Foreign Relations of the Government of the Region of Kurdistan-Iraq, in Erbil.
Alongside the ongoing stabilisation of the country and bilateral cooperation between Germany and Iraq, the talks also focused on the situation in the region. Iraq shares a land border stretching 5440 kilometres with Iran and has close societal, political and also economic ties with its neighbour. This is why the country is concerned about the tensions in the Persian Gulf. Germany is supporting the balanced approach taken by the Iraqi Government.
As part of the Global Coalition against Daesh, the Bundeswehr is training Iraqi security forces. The country is at a crucial juncture. The successes achieved by the country together with the international community in the fight against IS and in stabilising the territories previously controlled by IS must be consolidated. Minister of State Annen visited the Bundeswehr bases near Baghdad and in the Region of Kurdistan-Iraq and talked to the soldiers there about their work in Iraq. He underscored that Germany wants to help Iraq here:
Only thus can the foundations for the reconstruction and long-term development of the country be laid. Germany is supporting Iraq in its foreign policy geared towards reconciliation with its neighbours.
Despite the Qatar crisis, Qatar is an important actor in the region. The visit focused on the question as to how Qatar and Germany can together facilitate dialogue and promote a long-term de-escalation in the Persian Gulf. In the capital Doha, Minister of State Annen had talks with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani and his colleague Minister of State Sultan Al Muraikhi on regional tensions and conflicts. The talks also focused on the negotiations between the US Administration and the radical Islamic Taliban, which are taking place in Doha.
Annen visited the German contingent in the headquarters of the Global Coalition against Daesh at the Al Udeid military base in Qatar. He spoke to the Bundeswehr soldiers stationed there about Germany's contribution to the Global Coalition.