Statement by Vladimir Safronkov, Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, during the VTC of Security Council Member-States on the situation in Iraq
We thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her tireless efforts and extend our thanks and support to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for their efforts in such a complicated environment. We highly appreciate what the Mission is doing in the country. We welcome the participation of the Permanent Representative of Iraq in this meeting.
We welcome the appointment of new prime minister and emphasize with satisfaction that his cabinet’s programme has been approved by the Parliament. We know the Government priorities, which inter alia include holding free and fair elections, mobilizing all resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, launching a national dialogue, protecting the sovereignty of the country, fighting terrorism, and other goals. We are ready to support (and we already do) all efforts aimed at improving the situation in friendly Iraq.
As a matter of fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the overall situation in Iraq and has multiplied political, economic, and humanitarian challenges. In this context it is important that the international community supports Baghdad as it develops comprehensive measures aimed at responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
We are strongly convinced and we keep repeating that only inclusive dialogue and reconciliation will help overcome internal disputes in Iraq. It should restore mutual understanding between Baghdad and Erbil. Further improvement of their relations will help Iraq promote security and effective use of its economic capacity. Therefore we encourage both sides once again to reach and implement a comprehensive agreement on all outstanding issues.
We note that the COVID-19 outbreak led to a suspension of demonstrations across the country. In this regards we call upon all sides to stay reserved. However, we believe it is unacceptable for external players to instrumentalize the domestic situation.
Iraq should not be dragged into regional confrontation or become an arena for regional disputes and settling scores. These attempts contradict international law, violate Iraq’s sovereignty and damage its national interests. We highly value and encourage Iraq’s continued efforts to build constructive and fruitful relations with all its neighbors and in the whole region.
It is high time to start implementation of Security Council Resolution 598, to work out measures to enhance the security of the region and have a better look at other relevant initiatives, including Russian concept of the security in the Gulf region, France’s constructive ideas, Iran’s peace proposal. I am of strong opinion that UNAMI could significantly contribute to normalization of political environment around Iran, since Special Representative has office in Tehran. We have to use this potential to normalize this operative environment in such a difficult time. We are deeply worried that ISIL is already trying to exploit the pandemic and increase its activity. I would be grateful for SR’s comments on that issue.