Wednesday

26th Apr 2017

France pushes for more EU engagement in Iraq

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy would like to see more EU involvement in Iraq (Photo: wikipedia)

France, currently chairing the six-month rotating European Union presidency, is pushing for the bloc to engage more and "without delay" in Iraq, a working paper seen by Financial Times Deutschland reads.

"Our common goal is to contribute to Iraq's success. The EU is therefore ready to engage without delay in this country," says the confidential paper on transatlantic relations discussed on Monday at an informal foreign ministers meeting in Marseille, the German daily reports.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

According to diplomats close to the issue, the EU's help is unlikely to be military, but rather in terms of training the Iraqi police and judiciary, with countries such as Germany and Italy already involved in similar programmes.

The eight-page-long "reflection paper" on transatlantic partnership is still subject to discussions and no decisions have been taken yet.

The timing of such a move serves the interests of the new US president, as he is set to shift the US focus in its War on Terror from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Aides to Mr Obama told the Wall Street Journal that the new administration is likely to deploy tens of thousands of additional US troops to Afghanistan, where security conditions have worsened in recent months. They said Mr Obama would also devote more attention to neighbouring Pakistan, whose support is seen as crucial against neo-Taliban insurgents and al Qaeda.

Alongside the 151,000 US troops, the UK and several eastern European countries still have soldiers in Iraq, mostly set to reduce their contingents or withdraw completely by next year.

Afghanistan meanwhile is a NATO operation. Its 50,700-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), contains 34,000 American troops. The German contingent makes up 3,220 soldiers, but has faced criticism from the Canadian and UK side for its non-involvement in dangerous zones as a result of the Bundestag's mandate, which does not permit German soldiers to take part in combat operations.

Russia suspected of Macron hack

Likely Russian spies tried to steal email passwords from Macron's people the same way they hacked US elections, new study says.

Russia threat triggers European military spending hike

Russia's annexation of Crimea in Ukraine has intensified military and defence spending throughout much of Central Europe, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Investigation

Illicit Russian money poses threat to EU democracy

It cost €11 million to help Le Pen campaign in elections, but it cost the Russian mafia less than €100,000 to hire a former UK attorney general to lobby against EU sanctions.

Erdogan signals new era in EU relations

Turkish leader dismissed international critics and spoke of reinstating death penalty after referendum win, signalling new era in EU relations.

Investigation

Sex and lies: Russia's EU news

France and Germany have been targeted for years with fake news and lies designed to incite sexual revulsion toward migrants and the politicians who gave them shelter.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary's Orban will participate in EU parliament debate
  2. Malta floats cash-for-refugees plan
  3. Ivanka Trump to meet Merkel at Berlin women's conference
  4. Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in 20 years
  5. Nord Stream 2 to get €4.8bn from European energy firms
  6. Defeated Fillon retires from French politics
  7. Hollande: Vote Macron to avoid 'risk' for France
  8. Italy misses deadline on air quality warning

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  3. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  4. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  5. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  6. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  7. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  8. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  10. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  11. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  12. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children

Latest News

  1. Russische schwarze Kassen bedrohen EU Demokratie
  2. Libya commanders in Brussels for migration talks
  3. Mixed review for EU asylum spots in Greece and Italy
  4. France still anxious over possibility of Le Pen win
  5. Free wifi plan backed by MEP committee
  6. Report: Germany blocks post-Dieselgate reform
  7. Russia suspected of Macron hack
  8. EU to exclude financial services from post-Brexit deal