Speaking on the plane on the way to Baghdad, Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on his trip to Iraq (6 December):
Bringing stability to Iraq is just as important as the search for a political solution for Syria when it comes to combating Islamist terrorism and ISIS, but also in dealing with the many major conflicts and problems in the region.
My visit is an expression of our resolve to stand by Iraq in truly difficult and turbulent times.
Prime Minister al‑Abadi deserves our respect and our active support for his commitment to a programme of reform and his endeavours to create a state in which all ethnic, religious and social groups find a place.
With great courage and with our help, the Kurds in northern Iraq have managed to free themselves from fatal encirclement by ISIS, and indeed have now succeeded in driving the ISIS forces out of parts of their region.
We will continue to provide support and particularly to help those who have fled to quickly return to their homes, villages and houses in areas where ISIS has been driven out. We will therefore further intensify our efforts towards reconstruction and the restoration of public infrastructure in these areas.