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Mr. President,

I thank the Special Representative Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her comprehensive briefing and express our full support for the efforts of UNAMI.

Today we are participating in a briefing on UNAMI for the first time since we joined the Security Council. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Iraqi people on several positive developments that happened during the previous period, most notably holding successful and overall peaceful parliamentary elections last October. In this regard, we commend the tireless efforts made by the Independent High Electoral Commission, with the support of UNAMI, to organize and conduct the elections.

After electing a Speaker of Parliament last month, the next stage will be critical to form a new Iraqi government, to complete the process of reconstruction and stabilization, and to continue positive engagement with Arab and regional partners based on the principle of good neighborliness. We commend the role of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in this regard and his work to strengthen Iraq’s unity in the face of current challenges.

Mr. President,

Iraq continues to be subjected to attempts to weaken its security and stability and undermine its sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. In this regard, we reiterate our categorical rejection of the continued foreign interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, under any pretext. We also stress the importance of a commitment to and respect for the sovereignty of states and non-interference in states’ internal affairs in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations. Such a commitment will spare the region further tension, violence, and to prevent the creation of threats to regional and international peace and security.

We also condemn the recent escalation of terrorist attacks against officials, civilians, and vital facilities in Iraq, including the attack carried out by Daesh in Diyala province last January that killed eleven Iraqi soldiers. We express our sincere condolences to the people and government of Iraq and stress the importance of the international community’s continued support for Iraq, so it can achieve security and implement rule of law across its territory. The International community should also support Iraq’s efforts to combat the remnants of Daesh and other militias and terrorist groups, in accordance with international law. Accordingly, we support Iraq’s refusal to have its territory used as a foothold for any terrorist act ¬– whether in Iraq, its region, or elsewhere.

Iraq is in dire need for international support, so it can continue to implement development and reconstruction programs, as well as promote peaceful coexistence, to consolidate the gains it has made thus far. In turn, my country reiterates its commitment to support Iraq’s efforts to rebuild areas liberated from Daesh and sites that promote religious coexistence, including by providing more than $50 million to fund the joint project between UNESCO and the UAE to rebuild a mosque and two churches in Mosul. The foundation stone of this important project will be laid soon.

In parallel with these efforts, we stress the importance of responding to the needs of Iraqi women, especially considering the horrific crimes they have been subjected to at the hands of Daesh. Such efforts will help to enhance women’s participation in building safe and stable societies. We also share the Iraqi people’s aspiration for the full, meaningful, and equal participation of Iraqi women across all sectors.

On another note, we welcome the Council’s recent adoption of a resolution that commends Iraq’s successful repayment of all compensation related to its invasion of Kuwait. We also commend the progress made on the issue of missing Kuwaitis, third-country nationals, including Kuwait’s announcement last December that it had completed conducting genetic tests and analysis on all remains received from Iraq in August 2019 and September 2020, as we see the need to continue making progress in this important file, and the issue of missing Kuwaiti property.

Finally, we reiterate the importance of respecting Iraq’s sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity as well as our commitment to support Iraq and the aspirations of its brotherly people.

Thank you.