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Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the site of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Iraq.

Iraq is currently in the grip of dramatic battles to free its territory from ISIS/Daesh military control. Once this fighting is over, Iraq will face a new struggle: for stabilisation, reconciliation and integration. Iraq has been a focus of numerous resolutions in the European Parliament, most recently on mass graves, on the systematic mass murder of minorities by ISIS/Daesh and the situation in northern Iraq.

The Delegation spearheads Parliament's inter-parliamentary dialogue with the Iraqi Council of representatives and holds regular discussions with Iraqi political leaders, international and civil society organisations and minority group representatives. We cover a range of issues from international agreements and economic issues, to the situation of minorities and humanitarian needs, serving to inform Members of what is at stake and shaping Parliament's positions. We are currently particularly concerned with the fall-out from the Mosul battle, the humanitarian situation, the stabilisation needs for Iraq and the future of the country once freed from ISIS/Daesh's military hold on its territory. We recently hosted the latest Laureates of the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Iraqi Yazidi activists Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, who survived slavery under ISIS and come out fighting for others who suffered their same fate.

The Delegation is concerned with the huge challenges Iraq faces, including the need for security and reconstruction to enable the return of hundreds of thousands of displaced people, including many who have fled to Europe, where Iraqis are the second largest group of asylum seekers after Syrians. Iraq's diverse communities, particularly hard-hit under ISIS/Daesh, are of particular concern. As they struggle to take back their space in society and have a voice in governance, important milestones will be the provincial and national elections due in 2018.

Our meetings are public and often web-streamed, and I invite you to watch them live on Parliament's website.

David Campbell Bannerman