Situation in Iraq:
- extracts from the exchange of views with Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq
EP Committee on Foreign Affairs
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - European Parliament
End production: 29/05/2013 First transmission: 29/05/2013
MEPs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs held exchanges of views with Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq. The meeting takes place months after EU's first-ever partnership deal with Iraq, aimed at helping it complete the transition to democracy, rebuild and normalise relations with the international community. Meanwhile, MEPs continue to raise concerns about ongoing violence and human rights abuses in Iraq and call for a stronger EU presence there. In recent days, a wave of bomb attacks succeeded in Iraq and killed and injured dozens of civilians in several crowded commercial areas of Baghdad.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shots of the EP, Brussels.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: "This country should not slip back to the Suni-Shia confrontation they had".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: "We see in our talks with the Sunni demonstrators leading to these violent events an increasing 'no' to the Constitution, and 'no' to the Prime Minister. We want to transform it into a 'yes policy. Yes to the Constitution. The Constitution is certainly not perfect, because is not implemented. For example, Iraq is a federal state. Federalism is not taken seriously in Iraq".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: "We from the UN are relatively alone in Iraq. We need an ally; this can only be a strong profile of the EU, the profile of your delegation, of your ambassador, to show also political profile".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: "The government of Iraq considers the MEK a terror organisation and the government of Iraq considers each and every single Liberty-Ashraf resident to be illegally in the country. The government is decided to evict the remaining 100 from Camp Ashraf and we of course try to prevent it and we urge the government to avoid any kind of violent solution, because this would make the solution even more difficult".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: "It is impossible to go back to Camp Ashraf, the government would not allow it. The only way out of Camp Liberty is the way to third countries, like Albania, Germany and others and I encourage all of you to really talk to the governments and say 'take these poor people into your countries'".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Struan STEVENSON (ECR, UK), Chair of the Delegation for relations with Iraq: "When you say that there was an attack in February which left 8 people dead after you, yourself said that the safety of these people would be guaranteed in Camp Liberty. Why three months later are there no hard hats or armoured vests available for the 3100 people? Why are there no T-walls replaced in the Camp? Why you say you protest about this to the government? You have left these people exposed".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Ana GOMES (S&D, PT): "I'd like you to tell us more about the way you understand the implications of the conflict in Syria impacting on Iraq, and in particular if you see that conflict having an impact directly on this increasing sectarian strive that you have mentioned. to what extent are the people in Iraq the players? The members of government, of different ethnic backgrounds... are they conscious of that if that is the case?"
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: "Of course the Sunnis they look on Syria and they follow very closely the developments in Syria. The question is to reduce tension to bring the aprties together".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: "I would like to see the stars of Europe much more present in projects here. In particular on field transitional justice, the prison administration, combine human rights in your activities... Only the EU and the UN can do it".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: "The Parliament in Iraq does not deserve its name right now. Boycotts, walk-outs... whenever something is on the agenda one party moves out, they just do not work... And they have their share, Iraqi parliamentarians, in the political stalemate. The Parliament to Parliament relations, you as parliamentarians you could liaise up and team up with the parliamentarians in Iraq and do 'a Parliament to Parliament' action plan."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin Kobler, UN Special Representative for Iraq: Focus on human rights, focus con corruption, focus on torture and all these questions together with the Parliamentarians of Iraq and not only on Camp Ashraf. Camp Ashraf in a way takes all the other very important topics hostage".
||Cutaways (5 shots).