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Remarks by Amb. Geng Shuang at the Security Council VTC on Iraq

2020-11-24 08:19

Madam President,

China thanks Special Representative Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert for her briefing and welcomes Permanent Representative of Iraq as he attends today’s meeting.

Since the new Iraqi government took office, it has achieved positive results in promoting political transition, preparing for early elections, meeting economic and social challenges, and developing peaceful and friendly foreign relations. At the same time, it should be noted that the persistent regional turbulence, the rampage unleashed by terrorist remnants, and the spread of COVID-19 have together brought severe challenges to the stability and development of Iraq. In connection with relevant reports of the Secretary-General and the briefing by the Special Representative, I wish to state the following:

First, support Iraq in advancing autonomously its domestic political processes. Iraq has set a goal of holding elections in 2021, which is an important political agenda in Iraq. We are pleased with the steady progress of election preparations and the entry into force of the new electoral law. We hope that the elections will be held smoothly, realizing thereby the vision of the Iraqi people. The international community should create a favorable environment for this purpose, fully heed the views of Iraq, and respect its ownership when providing assistance.

China welcomes the interim arrangement reached between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government on resource and revenue sharing and the agreement on the situation in the Sinjar district. It is hoped that two sides will strengthen dialogue and cooperation and inject new impetus into consolidating national unity and accelerating integrated development.

Second, safeguard the hard-won peace and stability. According to the latest report of the Secretary-General, terrorist remnants have launched numerous attacks in Iraq, causing significant casualties. The international community should continue to support the Iraqi side in carrying out counterterrorism operations, combating terrorism, dealing with the issue of foreign terrorist fighters, bringing terrorists to justice according to domestic laws, and preventing the return and spread of terrorist forces and activities.

Peace and development cannot be achieved in Iraq in the absence of a stable neighborhood. China commends the Iraqi efforts to develop friendly and mutually beneficial relations with countries in the region. We hope that all parties concerned will respond to the Secretary-General’s appeal and resolve their differences through such peaceful means as dialogue and consultation, so as to continuously enhance mutual trust and avoid escalation of tension. Any military actions on the Iraqi territory must be subject to the consent of the Iraqi government, and Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be fully respected.

We have taken note of the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of Resolution 2107. We welcome the progress made both in the search for missing Kuwaiti nationals and in terms of Iraq's compensations. We encourage Iraq and Kuwait to further deepen cooperation pertaining to missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.

Third, take a people-centered approach to promoting sustainable economic and social development. The important task for Iraq is to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, speed up the national reconstruction and improve the economic and humanitarian situation. The new Iraqi government has responded positively to people's demands by prioritizing economic reform, improving people's livelihood, addressing the pandemic and combating corruption, which we appreciate. The international community should encourage Iraq to explore a development path suited to its national conditions, help it fight the pandemic, rebuild key infrastructure, achieve economic diversification, strengthen capacity building, protect vulnerable groups such as women and children, and promote peace through development.

As always, China firmly supports Iraq in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and stability and helps Iraq's economic and social development through practical cooperation exemplified by the Belt and Road Initiative. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost no time in dispatching medical experts and donating anti-epidemic medical supplies to Iraq. China will continue to work with the international community to contribute to the lasting peace, prosperity and development in Iraq.

Thank you, Madam President.

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