Foreign Minister Steinmeier will meet his counterparts from the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL in Washington, D.C. on Thursday in order to discuss their joint approach in the fight against the terrorist organisation.
Efforts to combat IS were also discussed at the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq yesterday. At the conference, the participating states pledged a total of over two billion dollars to help bring stability to Iraq. Germany is contributing a further 160 million euros for stabilisation measures and humanitarian assistance. “This sends an important signal to the Iraqi people that we will not abandon them after the liberation from the scourge of IS,” said Steinmeier. Those in attendance agreed that efforts to fight the terrorist organisation IS and to bring stability to Iraq must continue to go hand in hand.
IS on the defensive
Important progress has been made in Iraq recently in the fight against the terrorist organisation IS. So‑called Islamic State is on the defensive. The Global Coalition to Counter ISIL has managed to retake the city of Fallujah, and overall IS is increasingly being pushed back in Iraq and is losing parts of its territory. Special Representative of the Federal Government for the Middle East Stability Partnership Joachim Rücker, who visited Iraq last week, said that this showed that the international action against the terrorist organisation was having an impact. At their meeting held today within the framework of the Counter-ISIL coalition, the Foreign Ministers will discuss the next military steps for continuing to push back and isolate the terrorist militia.
Liberating Mosul from the scourge of IS is a great challenge
Major military and humanitarian challenges remain despite recent successes. The Iraqi armed forces are currently preparing for an assault on the IS stronghold of Mosul, and heavy fighting is anticipated. The United Nations fear that, in the worst-case scenario, more than one million people could flee Mosul and a further 830,000 be forced to leave their homes in the city’s surrounding areas. These people would need to be provided with humanitarian assistance.
A military approach is not sufficient: offering the people a viable future
Foreign Minister Steinmeier has repeatedly pointed out that a comprehensive approach is needed in order to push IS back permanently. IS terror cannot be defeated by military means alone. The international community must work together as closely as possible in order to dry up support for the terrorist organisation. The aim must also be to prevent IS propaganda from taking root in the hearts and minds of young people. The international community can only win this battle by creating better prospects for the people and by lending its support to the long-term reconstruction of Iraq. It is therefore all the more vital that additional financial resources for humanitarian assistance and stabilisation were raised at the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq yesterday. Germany, which is chairing the Stabilisation Working Group of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL together with the United Arab Emirates, is making a major contribution with an additional 160 million euros for stabilisation measures and humanitarian assistance.