Wednesday

13th Dec 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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.

Two EU states break ranks on Jerusalem

Hungary and the Czech Republic have broken EU ranks on US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite warnings it could bring back 'darker times'.

Interview

EU outshines Russia in Western Balkans

Russia cannot compete with the EU for attractiveness in the Western Balkans, but can play an 'obstructive' role, Albania's foreign minister said.

EU complicit in Libyan torture, says Amnesty

The EU and its members states have signed up to 'Faustian pact' with Libyan authorities in the their effort to prevent migrant and refugee boat departures towards Italy, says Amnesty International.

News in Brief

  1. EU bank delays gas pipeline decision
  2. Hungary's leftwing parties join Jobbik in anti-Orban protest
  3. Barnier: EU will not accept UK backtracking on Brexit deal
  4. Puigdemont to return to Catalonia if elected
  5. Commission approves EasyJet partial takeover of Air Berlin
  6. EU medical command centre due next year
  7. Auditors: EU 'green' farm payments fail ecology criteria
  8. Austria gas explosion creates Italian energy 'emergency'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Last chance for Poland to return property to its rightful owners
  2. Commission attacks Tusk on 'anti-European' migrant plan
  3. Volkswagen tells EU: we will fail on our recall promise
  4. EU will not start Brexit future talks before March
  5. Bitcoin risky but 'limited phenomenon', says EU
  6. Panama Papers - start of sensible revolution in EU tax affairs?
  7. Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees
  8. New Polish PM brings same old government