Today (17 December), upon his arrival in Baghdad, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement:
Iraq has had to overcome severe trials in the past years. Yet the IS reign of terror has been stopped. Now its resurgence underground must be prevented at all costs in order to avert terrorist threats in Iraq, in the region and also in Europe. Only then will it be possible to build on the achievements of civilian stabilisation and to lay a sustainable foundation for reconstruction and reconciliation.
Germany has been engaged in Iraq more extensively than in almost any other country since 2014, in both the civilian and the military field – with humanitarian assistance, stabilisation and development cooperation to the tune of more than 1.5 billion euros. Bundeswehr soldiers are supporting the development of the Iraqi armed forces so that they can properly fulfil their responsibility for their country’s security. Four million internal refugees have been able to return to their homes. Developments here have shown that when the international community pulls in the same direction, even the most serious crises can be resolved.
The new Iraqi Government intends to tackle the major challenges facing the country. The Iraqi people hold the potential for a peaceful, united and pluralistic future for their country in their own hands. Germany will continue to stand by them as a reliable friend and partner. We have a keen interest in actively supporting the young Iraqi democracy as it moves along this path.