UK, Iraq sign deal on Covid-19, election cooperation
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has signed a strategic partnership deal with Iraq pledging support for the country's Covid-19 recovery, fight against terrorism and to ensure free and fair elections.
Raab met with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, President Barham Salih and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein during a one-day visit to Baghdad on Tuesday. Both foreign ministers signed a strategic partnership deal securing political and strategic ties between the two nations.
Britain agreed to contribute £17 million ($24 million) to tackle Covid-19 and support economic recovery in Iraq, according to a UK government statement. A further £1 million ($1.4 million) will be given to the UN Assistance Mission for the upcoming elections to help ensure a free and fair process.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 2021 in Iraq.
"The UK will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Government of Iraq as it works to rebuild from Daesh, make progress on reform, and deliver a more peaceful and hopeful future for its citizens," Raab said.
"I am pleased we were able to sign the UK-Iraq strategic partnership today to further deepen and strengthen our friendship."
In Baghdad I met Commanders of the Global Coalition against Daesh and the NATO Mission. We discussed our joint efforts to help Iraq counter Daesh and to train Iraqi security forces. Together we’ve helped liberate nearly 8m innocent civilians and 110,000 km2 of Iraq and Syria. pic.twitter.com/Vld86rvhN7— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) June 8, 2021
In a news conference on Tuesday, Hussein said relations between the two countries were built on "mutual respect".
The British foreign secretary also met with commanders of the Global Coalition against the Islamic State group (IS) and the NATO mission.
"We discussed our joint efforts to help counter Daesh and to train Iraqi security forces," Raab tweeted on Tuesday, using an alternative acronym for the IS group.