Rapid political solution needed

Crisis in Iraq Rapid political solution needed

For the Federal Government, efforts towards reconciliation are essential to a solution of the conflict in Iraq. The Federal Chancellor stressed that lasting stability can only be achieved through the formation of a government which will seek dialogue with all sections of the population.

Security forces patrolling the streets of Baghdad in order to prevent potential attacks by ISIS

Security forces patrolling the streets of Baghdad

Photo: picture alliance/AA

"We believe that, similar to the war in Syria, only a political solution can bring long-term stability and that it is very important in regards to Iraq to include all religions and all parts of the population in this dialogue", Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel declared in Berlin.

It is therefore crucial to swiftly build a government that will seek such a dialogue. This is the only way for Iraq to emerge stronger against fundamentalists and extremists, Merkel added.

We must also discuss what Germany can contribute to calm down the situation, Merkel said prior to her meeting with King Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein of Jordan at the Federal Chancellery.

Government spokesperson Steffen Seibert had previously expressed a similar idea, declaring that it is imperative to avoid a descent into civil war between religious or ethnic groups. This is the only way to lastingly undermine terror, he explained.

In the face of this great risk, the neighbouring countries must also work together towards peace and security in their region.

ISIS advancing

After having gained control of Nineveh Province, the terrorist group known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is now pressing on towards Baghdad. Armed hostilities between terrorists, Iraqi security forces and militias, as well as severe terrorist attacks, can be expected.

Support for the political process

Federal Chancellor Merkel had previously commented that Germany can only try to accompany the political process. She pointed out that the Americans have a special responsibility, and that "one can see that in the current reactions in the United States".  President Obama is assuming this responsibility, she said.

Adequate representation of all sections of the population

Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier warned that the current situation carries a great threat both for Iraq and its neighbours. The Iraqi leadership must now demonstrate its ability to act and form a government This government must ensure adequate representation of all the country's regions and religions. Iraq's neighbours must recognise their interest in "maintaining the country's territorial integrity".

On 30 April 2014, Iraq held its first parliamentary elections since the withdrawal of US forces. The turnout for the vote was 60 percent.

Federal Foreign Office advises citizens to leave parts of Iraq
In the light of the situation that is currently emerging, the Federal Foreign Office calls on Germans to immediately leave the following parts of Iraq: Nineveh Province (main town Mosul), Anbar Province (main town Ramadi), Salah-ad-Din Province (main town Tikrit), Diyala Province (main town Baqubah). It also recommends all citizens in the Greater Baghdad area to leave it for the time being.