The visit of the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was designed to take relations between Iraq and Germany to a new, even more intensive level, said Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint press conference.
Support for reconstruction
Angela Merkel stressed that Germany will stand shoulder to shoulder with Iraq in the peaceful reconstruction of the country. Germany will, for instance, continue its support in the field of training Iraqi security forces. The Bundeswehr mission aims to enable Iraq’s armed forces to fully meet their responsibility to ensure the security of the country in future.
Iraq is part of a complicated neighbourhood, said the Chancellor, which is why the German government very much appreciates the Prime Minister’s efforts to foster peaceful coexistence in the region.
Germany is second largest donor
In addition to military engagement, the two leaders also discussed development cooperation. Germany is the second largest donor in Iraq, with only the USA providing more. Angela Merkel declared, "For many years we have engaged intensively in Iraq and have provided 1.7 billion euros in development cooperation." Germany has also taken in a large number of refugees from Iraq.
Between 2014 and the end of 2016, Germany provided around 713 million euros to finance support measures in Iraq. Of this sum, 273 million euros was earmarked for humanitarian assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons.
In future too, Germany aims to continue development cooperation, stressed Angela Merkel. She pointed, in particular, to people living in areas liberated from the IS. They must be offered new prospects as swiftly as possible. Stabilisation measures and development cooperation are extremely important in this context.
Although the control of the so-called Islamic State (IS) over territory in Iraq was ended in 2018, terrorist attacks continue. IS is still a threat to regional and international security and must be fought with every means available.
German-Iraqi energy agreement
Germany and Iraq also aim to step up relations in the economic sector. Before the joint press conference held by Angela Merkel and Adel Abdul Mahdi, the CEO of Siemens AG and Iraq’s Minister of Electricity signed an implementation agreement to develop Iraq’s energy sector. Under the terms of the agreement, Iraq’s government contracts Siemens to rebuild electricity production in Iraq.