Procedure : 2014/2716(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0062/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 17/07/2014 - 10.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Iraq (2014/2716(RSP))

Marina Albiol Guzmán, Sabine Lösing, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Miloslav Ransdorf, Marisa Matias, Sofia Sakorafa, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Pablo Iglesias, Pablo Echenique Robba, Carlos Jiménez Villarejo on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Iraq (2014/2716(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Iraq, of the other part,

–       having regard to its resolution of 17 January 2013 on the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement(1),

–       having regard to the first EU-Iraq Cooperation Council meeting held on 20 January 2014,

–       having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, on Iraq,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on Iraq, in particular those of 14 March 2013 on ‘Iraq: the plight of minority groups, including the Iraqi Turkmen’(2), of 10 October 2013 on recent violence in Iraq(3), and of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Iraq(4),

–       having regard to the EEAS statement on elections in Iraq of 5 May 2014,

–       having regard to the Council Conclusions on Iraq of 23 June 2014,

–       having regard to the joint statement of the Third European Union - League of Arab States (EU-LAS) Ministerial Meeting on the Security Situation in Iraq of 11 June 2014,

–       having regard to the statement by the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, of 12 June 2014,

–       having regard to the reports by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and in particular its casualty figures for June released on 1 July 2014,

–       having regard to the statements by UN Special Representative for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov,

–       having regard to the statements by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Iraq,

–       having regard to the UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq,

–       having regard to the UN Declaration of 1981 on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,

–       having regard to the UN Convention against Corruption, ratified by Iraq in 2008,

–       having regard to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iraq is a party,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the entire population of Iraq has suffered from a war that has led to more than 1 400 000 casualties and destroyed large parts of Iraq’s infrastructure, and from the consequent increase of violence in the country, with alarming numbers of terrorist attacks and human rights violations; whereas the political process imposed by the occupation has resulted in a country divided along sectarian and ethnic lines;

B.     whereas, according to the casualty figures given for June 2014 by UNAMI (the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq), violence remains a matter of great concern in Iraq, as indiscriminate violence is constant; whereas at least 2 417 Iraqis were killed and another 2 287 were injured in June, not including casualties from Anbar;

C.     whereas a major humanitarian crisis is under way in Iraq as a result of fighting between the Iraqi Security Forces and armed opposition groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS);

D.     whereas on 29 June ISIS announced the establishment of a caliphate on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria, which would extend from Aleppo in northern Syria to Diyala province in eastern Iraq;

E.     whereas the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish north region, Massoud Barzani, has asked the region’s parliament to prepare the way for a referendum on independence;

F.     whereas Saudi Arabia has deployed 30 000 soldiers on its border with Iraq after Iraqi forces abandoned the area; whereas President Obama has announced that the US will send 300 military advisors (Special Forces) to Iraq;

G.     whereas the Iraqi population has been suffering from a state of generalised violence, already and for many years; whereas the recent marked increase in violence in the country has resulted in casualty figures not seen since 2008; whereas the developments in Anbar province have resulted in large numbers of internally displaced persons fleeing the conflict zones; whereas, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Iraq is now contending with one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world; whereas over 1.2 million people have been displaced since January this year, some 560 000 of these from Anbar; whereas following the fall of Mosul an additional 650 000 persons are estimated to have been displaced;

H.     whereas ten years of occupation by the US and its allies have left the country poorer; whereas illiteracy has risen and more people are dying of starvation; whereas poverty has hit 88 % of Iraq’s population and some six million Iraqis live below the poverty line; whereas even though Iraq has been able to restore its oil productivity almost to full capacity, social inequality is growing as the Iraqi state continues to be unable to provide basic services to the Iraqi population, such as regular electricity in the summer, clean water and public healthcare;

I.      whereas, rather than help Iraq to move forward, the US and its allies have in recent years allowed the country to drift back towards a deeply fragmented society, destroying Iraqi national identity and replaced it with sectarian and ethnic identities after 2003; whereas during the past few years there has been a significant deterioration of the situation in Iraq and ethnic clashes involving Shiites and Sunnis have increased; whereas 20 % of Iraqi oil resources are located in the Kirkuk region;

J.      whereas since the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the coalition troops the situation in the country has dramatically worsened, and violence, human rights violations, torture and ethnic clashes have become common practice in the country; whereas the current everyday rhythm of bombings and shootings leaves most Iraqis uncertain about their future and makes it impossible to promote the social and economic integration of the Iraqi population at large;

K.     whereas in December 2012 peaceful protests began, in particular in the six provinces to the north and west of Baghdad, with the occupation of squares; whereas the Government repressed the protest and the escalation of tensions turned into an armed confrontation in December 2013, including the use of disproportionate force which resulted in the killing of civilians in Anbar;

L.     whereas the Syrian conflict is having multiple negative repercussions in the region, and has created a new substantial flow of refugees and returnees to Iraq, numbering more than 224 000 and living in conditions of extreme vulnerability in Iraq;

M.    whereas more than 1 300 people are believed to have been sentenced to death in Iraq since 2004; whereas Iraqi law authorises the death penalty for almost 50 crimes, including terrorism, kidnapping, and murder, but also including such offences as damage to public property; whereas, contrary to the worldwide trend towards the abolition of the death penalty, the number of executions in Iraq is increasing; whereas according to international press accounts at least 150 people were executed in Iraq in 2013;

N.     whereas according to Transparency International Iraq has the most corrupt government in the Middle East; whereas corruption is a structural problem in the country, as there is no effective parliamentary control and the judicial system is inactive, which are symptoms of a failed state; whereas, according to the Office of the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, a total of USD 800 million is transferred outside Iraq illegally every week;

O.     whereas the long-running dispute in the Kirkuk region over the region’s oil exports via a new pipeline has not been settled;

P.     whereas at least 10 journalists were killed in 2013; whereas with not a single conviction for the 400 murders of media professionals in the past decade, Iraq remains the country with the worst record in the world for impunity related to unsolved murders of journalists; whereas Spanish journalist José Couso together with the journalists Taras Protsyuk and Tareq Ayub were killed in April 2003 by a US army attack; whereas a Spanish court has sought the arrest of two US officers and one non-commissioned officer accused of involvement in the case; whereas justice has still not been done; whereas the US has obstructed the arrest warrants and Interpol has failed to process them;

Q.     whereas significant quantities of falsely depleted uranium munitions have been used in Iraq by the US and the UK, leading to a tragic increase in childhood cancers and congenital birth defects; whereas the lack of information on the use of DU residue by the US is seriously hindering decontamination, monitoring and awareness-raising efforts aimed at reducing civilians’ exposure to such residues;

R.     whereas in April 2014 the Iraqi government adopted a change in legislation which would legalise childhood marriage and marital rape; whereas, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 250 000 women and girls, including nearly 60 000 pregnant women, are in need of urgent care and nearly 20 000 women and girls could face an increased risk of sexual violence; whereas serious concerns have been expressed, among others by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, about the failure of trials leading to the death penalty to meet international fair trial safeguards, including lack of transparency in court proceedings and instances where ‘confessions’ were obtained under torture or other forms of ill-treatment of the defendants; whereas capital punishment is a form of cruel and inhumane treatment that must be abolished;

S.     whereas parliamentary elections were held in 30 April 2014 in Iraq in an atmosphere of violence and fear;

1.      Reiterates its strong condemnation of the military intervention of the coalition forces in Iraq; reiterates that this invasion violated international law and stresses its illegal character; underlines the fact that the main result of the US invasion of Iraq has been the almost total collapse of the rule of law and the rise of religious extremism in the country; points out the responsibility of the heads of state of EU Member States who participated in the Azores summit, and in particular of the outgoing President of the European Commission Durão Barroso; reiterates its condemnation of this violation of international law; considers that those responsible for this illegal war and crimes against humanity should be brought to international justice;

2.      Calls for an international conference which will promote dialogue between the parties in order to find an acceptable solution, and rejects the illegitimate interest of foreign actors in dividing the country to ensure themselves a better control of Iraqi oil stocks;

3.      Condemns all past, present or future foreign interference in Iraqi internal affairs; stresses that, in order to achieve real independence, Iraq should have full control of its own economy including its natural resources; stresses that oil revenues should be used as a tool and an opportunity for sustainable social and economic reconstruction benefiting Iraqi society at large; calls on the Iraqi Government to ensure that the country’s resources are used in a transparent and responsible way, for the benefit of all Iraq’s people;

4.      Considers that the countries which participated in the invasion of Iraq, including several Member States, are responsible for a war fought on the basis of lies and have the obligation to promote truth and justice and to repair the damage caused to the Iraqi people; recognises that this illegal war has destroyed the country and has increased violence in the entire region; condemns the plundering of Iraqi natural resources by oil corporations such as the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company, BP or ExxonMobil;

5.      Condemns all forms of violence against social, political or religious groups; deplores the large numbers of killed and wounded; condemns all the killings and executions; expresses deep concern over the increasing violent attacks; expresses its condolences to the families of those killed and wounded; calls for an immediate end to violence; considers that the perpetrators of these crimes should be brought to justice;

6.      Draws attention to the urgent need to resolve the humanitarian problems facing the Iraqi people; emphasises the need to ensure that action coordinated between the Iraqi authorities and the international aid organisations working on the ground is taken with a view to assisting vulnerable groups, including refugees and displaced persons, and to ensuring that these people are protected and that adequate conditions for their security and dignity are created;

7.      Notes that, according to the UNHCR, more than 224 000 Syrian refugees have sought refuge in the Kurdish part of Iraq since the start of the war; urges the EU to pledge assistance to these people; recalls the importance of fully respecting international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians; calls on the Iraqi authorities to ensure the provision of essential services, as well as access by humanitarian agencies to areas affected by the fighting; expresses its concern at the insufficient support offered to the Syrian refugees;

8.      Is concerned at the fact that corruption is endemic in the country, in particular within the army and the police, thus creating serious problems within Iraq’s security apparatus; regrets the fact that this culture of corruption filters up to the highest level of government;

9.      Deplores the dramatic rise in executions by the Iraqi army and the ISIS forces, as well as the use of ‘confessions’ obtained under torture or other ill-treatment as evidence against prisoners;

10.    Condemns the death penalty under any circumstances; calls on the Iraqi Government to declare and implement immediately a moratorium on executions as a first step, and to abolish the death penalty in the future;

11.    Demands the opening of an international inquiry under UN auspices to confirm the widespread use of torture and the presence of secret prisons or other torture centres in Iraq, in order to determine the liability of each party involved in the matter and punish those responsible;

12.    Condemns all forms of violence against social, political or religious groups, condemns all the killings and executions since the war began in 2003, and deplores the latest wave of terrorist attacks and the use of death squads;

13.    Recalls the importance of the principles of justice, truth and reparation; considers that all the perpetrators of this illegal war and the crimes against humanity that resulted from it must be brought to justice; insists, ten years after their killing, on the need to ensure that justice is done in the case of the journalists Couso, Protsyuk and Ayub so that these murders do not remain unpunished;

14.    Rejects the partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and the Republic of Iraq; takes the view that bringing violence to an end, social and economic development, full compliance with human rights and restoration of the welfare of Iraqis must be the main objectives of EU cooperation with Iraq, and not the introduction and expansion of the EU oil industries in the country;

15.    Condemns the use of depleted uranium munitions during the war, notably by the US and the UK; calls for the EU to develop a common EU position in favour of the restriction or prohibition of the use of depleted uranium munitions and to develop cleaning programmes in the affected areas;

16.    Calls on the Iraqi authorities to adopt measures to ensure that equality between men and women and women’s rights are fully respected;

17.    Urges the Iraqi Parliament and Government to guarantee respect for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and to fight against child labour, child prostitution and trafficking;

18.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Head of Delegation in Iraq, the Presidents of the parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Council of Representatives of the Republic of Iraq.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0022.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0101.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0424.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0171.

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