Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (17 October) on the situation in Kirkuk and other areas in northern Iraq:
The conflict between the Region of Kurdistan-Iraq and the Iraqi Government is giving us the greatest cause for concern. There is no reason why anyone should believe that there is a military solution to the tensions in Iraq that have flared up in recent days. I made this clear in a telephone call to Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al‑Abadi yesterday. On the contrary, an escalation weakens all sides and, above all, threatens to destabilise Iraq and the region in the long term.
In this tense situation, we call on all parties to exercise restraint and to engage in direct talks. Military actions must be ceased immediately and further escalation avoided.
All parties have a responsibility to work to facilitate the path back to the negotiating table and to a constructive dialogue in order to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner.
The joint fight against IS must remain the top priority – what is currently at stake, however, is nothing less than the future of the entire country and the security of the region.