Iraq: MEPs reject jihadist terrorism and call for sustainable political solution

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Attacks by the Islamic State (IS) on the Iraqi state and its citizens, including summary executions and the imposition of harsh interpretations of Sharia law, were strongly condemned in a European Parliament resolution passed by a show of hands on Thursday. At the same time, the resolution urges the Iraqi security forces to respect Iraq's international commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms while fighting the IS and other terrorist groups.


MEPs strongly condemn attacks against civilian targets, including hospitals, schools and places of worship, and the use of execution and sexual violence in the conflict. They also reject and consider illegitimate the announcement by the IS that it is establishing a caliphate in areas under its control and warns that there could be massive sectarian killings should the IS hold on to the territory it has seized.


Inclusive governance to stop the fragmentation of Iraq


The security response must be matched with a sustainable political solution involving all the components of Iraqi society and addressing their legitimate grievances, MEPs say. They underscore that following the April elections, an inclusive government representing the political, religious and ethnic diversity of Iraqi society must be formed as a matter of urgency, to stop the bloodshed and the fragmentation of the country. The army should also be reorganised in an inclusive, non-sectarian and non-partisan way, MEPs add.


Comprehensive EU policy for the region


The EU should devise a comprehensive policy approach to the Middle East which must associate Iran, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states with de-escalation efforts in Syria and Iraq, says the text. MEPs also stress that human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, press and digital freedoms must be respected in the crisis.


Foreign fighters


MEPs further call for international cooperation in order to take appropriate legal action against hundreds of foreign fighters, including EU citizens, who have joined the IS insurgency and are suspected of being involved in terrorist acts. The EU citizens in question are identified as security risk by the EU governments, the text notes.

 

Background

 

The jihadist al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State (IS) – formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – has conquered parts of north-western Iraq, including Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, followed by summary executions of Iraqi citizens, the imposition of a harsh interpretation of Sharia law, the destruction of the Shiite, Sufi, Sunni and Christian places of worship and shrines, and other atrocities against the civilian population. There are currently an estimated 1.2 million internally displaced people in central and northern Iraq and an estimated 1.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

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