Tag Archives: Iraq

Joined Commission to discuss Iran nuclear deal in Vienna

An extraordinary meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will take place in Vienna on 28 July 2019. The Joint Commission will be chaired on behalf of the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini by EEAS Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid and will be attended by the E3+2 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom) and Iran.

“The meeting has been convened at the request of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Iran, and will examine issues linked to the implementation of the JCPOA in all its aspects.”

Hormuz: EU warns Iran of escalation risks

“We urge the immediate release of the remaining ship and its crew, and call for restraint to avoid further tensions. Freedom of navigation must be respected at all times” says text of the statement by the spokesperson on the seizure of two ships by Iranian authorities in the Gulf of Hormuz.

The Stena Impero UK tanker is in Iranian custody on July 21 after the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said they had seized it in the Strait of Hormuz for “violating international regulations.”

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Iran sees the seizing of tankers in the Strait of Hormuz as a “tit-for-tat situation” following the detention in Gibraltar of the Iranian tanker Grace 1.

EU €100M for Lebanon-Jordan-Iraq refugees

The EU – via the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis – adopted a €100 million new assistance package to support the resilience of refugees, internally displaced person (IDP) host communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. This will be done through the strengthening of public service delivery systems, improved access to higher education, and improved child protection services.

With this new package €1.6 billion out of a total of €1.8 billion mobilised by the EU Trust Fund have now been turned into financing concrete actions helping refugees and host countries alike. 

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn commented: “The EU delivers on its commitments. With these additional €100 million of assistance, the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis continues to support refugees to become increasingly economically self-reliant. Through access to income generating opportunities, they are able to take their livelihoods in their own hands, provide for themselves, and preserve their dignity. At the same time we are supporting host communities and Syria’s neighbours in their effort to expand their economies while coping with challenges related to the conflict which is still ongoing”.

The newly adopted €100 million aid package consists of the following actions:

  • €55 million to support the resilience of refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq; 
  • €28.4 million for access to higher education for refugees and vulnerable host youth in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq; 
  • €12.5 million to provide protection services to children and women victim of gender based violence in Lebanon;
  • €3.6 million to continue and strengthen the Trust Fund’s horizontal monitoring and evaluation framework.

This assistance package has been adopted by the EU Trust Fund’s Operational Board, which brings together the European Commission, fifteen EU Member States, and Turkey. Observers of the Operational Board include members of the European Parliament, representatives from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the World Bank, and the Syria Recovery Trust Fund.

The EU Trust Fund is now in its fifth year of implementation, but the Syria crisis is far from being over. Over time, the needs have changed and the Trust Fund has evolved from providing early recovery assistance focusing on addressing basic needs of those affected by the Syria crisis to equipping refugees and local communities with tools and skills for greater self-reliance. The Trust Fund also focuses on reinforcing the national systems for public service delivery to meet refugee and local community needs in the longer term. Currently 67 projects have been contracted to implementing partners on the ground.

 

 

 

Iraq: French jihadists sentenced to death

Three French Daesh members sentenced to death in Iraq. (Image above: Baghdad).

Kévin Gonot, Léonard Lopez and Salim Machou – they are among the 12 French jihadists transferred to Iraq to for a trial.

French jihadists face trial in Iraq

Iraqi courts will prosecute 13 French citizens captured while conducting jihad for the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, President Barham Saleh confirmed.

The jihad fighters, who were turned over to Iraq after being seized by Kurdish forces in Syria, “will be judged according to Iraqi law,Saleh told at Paris news conference after talks with President Emmanuel Macron.

“Those who have engaged in crimes against Iraq and Iraqi installations and personnel, we are definitely seeking them and seeking their trial in Iraqi courts,” he continued.

An Iraqi government source informed that 14 French citizens engaged in jihad had been brought to Iraq by the US-backed forces trying to remove them from their last bastion in Syria.

NATO celebrates anniversary in April 2019 in Washington

NATO Foreign Ministers concluded two days of meetings in Brussels on Wednesday (5 December 2018), focused on issues including the INF Treaty, the Sea of Azov, the Western Balkans, Afghanistan, and the Alliance’s new training mission in Iraq.

The Foreign Ministers of the nations contributing to the Resolute Support Mission, met today in Brussels to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to ensuring long-term security and stability in Afghanistan.

“We express our utmost appreciation for the crucial contribution of the men and women serving in our Resolute Support Mission and in the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. We pay tribute to those who have lost their lives or have been wounded in support of a better future for Afghanistan” the statement of the Foreign ministers said.

We reaffirm the decisions taken at our Summit in July 2018 on our continued support to Afghanistan, and we recall Afghanistan’s commitments, including to continue on the path to reform covering, inter alia, the promotion of human rights, good and inclusive governance, and combating corruption”- the Ministers confirmed.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that Foreign Ministers will next meet in Washington in April 2019, marking 70 years since the Alliance’s founding. He added that Allied leaders will also meet later next year.

EU supports Nobel Prize winners projects

The European Commission has announced an additional €5 million in support of concrete projects of the two 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege maintaining its commitment to women who are victims of sexual violence.

This new support was announced  in Brussels as the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Development, Neven Mimica, met with Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege. The two winners were invited to discuss the eradication of violence against women and its impact on development, together with EU development Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council.

“As the European Union, we admire the immense courage and tireless work of Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege, who often put their own lives at risk. We have a duty to support their work and all the people they represent, as we are doing, and this is also the best way to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” Mogherini said.

“Violence against women and girls is one of the most horrendous crimes, one of the greatest injustices of our time, and an obstacle to the development of any society. I am very pleased to be able to strengthen our support for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates. This is how the European Union can help put an end to sexual violence, once and for all, everywhere in the world”, Commissioner Neven Mimica added

The EU plans to strengthen its ongoing stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in the Sinjar region in Iraq through a €1 million contribution to Nadia Murad’sSinjar Action Fund” initiative. European development cooperation in the liberated areas of Da’esh in the country supports in particular the needs of displaced populations, vulnerable groups and local communities.

A further €4 million will support Dr Mukweges work to ensure the continuity of support programmes for victims of sexual violence and women suffering from gynecological conditions at the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This initiative for the reconstruction of Sinjar will create infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and encourage the return of displaced populations to their homeland.

Since 2014, the European Union’s development cooperation in Iraq amounts to approximately €310 million. Part of this funding is specifically dedicated to the stabilisation and the socio-economic reconstruction of the areas liberated from Da’esh. EU support helps create the conditions for sustainable return of displaced people, including by clearing contaminated sites, restoring basic services and providing livelihoods. Since the beginning of the crisis, more than 1.7 million displaced people have returned to their homes.

The European support for the two 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates is part of its broader commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment globally. The EU has established an ambitious partnership with the United Nations by launching the “Spotlight Initiative” in September 2017. This programme is supported by €500 million to fight all forms of violence against women and girls.

Following the South-East Asia programme of the Spotlight initiative launched in November 2017 and the Latin America programme launched in September 2018, the Africa programme will be officially launched in early 2019. With €250 million in funding, the Africa programme will focus on combating harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation and forced child marriage.

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