Procedure : 2014/2716(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0064/2014

Texts tabled :

B8-0064/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 17/07/2014 - 10.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2014)0011

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 130kWORD 62k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0059/2014
15.7.2014
PE536.965v01-00
 
B8-0064/2014

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))


Marietje Schaake, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Gérard Deprez, Petras Auštrevičius, Louis Michel, Robert Rochefort, Jean-Marie Cavada, Marielle de Sarnez, Charles Goerens, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Fernando Maura Barandiarán on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Iraq (2014/2716(RSP))  
B8‑0064/2014

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to reports by the UNHCR that more than 1 million Iraqi citizens have been displaced by the recent fighting between the extremist terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),the army and other groups,

–       having regard to the recent statements of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) releasing new casualty figures for June 2014 indicating that at least 2 417 Iraqis were killed and another 2 287 injured in acts of terrorism and violence during that month, including more than 1 500 civilian deaths – the highest toll in one month since 2007,

–       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, and to its resolution of 17 January 2013 on the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement,

–       having regard to the Commission’s Joint Strategy Paper for Iraq (2011-2013),

–       having regard to the statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on 16 June 2014, condemning summary executions by ISIL and expressing the view that these almost certainly amounted to war crimes,

–       having regard to the statement by UN Under-Secretary-General and executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, expressing specific concerns for the safety of women and girls in Iraq, especially in areas held by ISIL,

–       having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2012 on a digital freedom strategy in EU foreign policy(1),

–       having regard to its resolution of 13 June 2013 on the freedom of press and media in the world(2),

–       having regard to the statement of 27 June 2014 by Vice-President/High Representative Catherine Ashton calling for a more inclusive government,

–       having regard to the statement of 23 June 2014 by US Secretary of State John Kerry pledging US support for Iraq and calling for action by the Iraqi government to bring the country together,

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

A.     whereas on 10 June, the extremist terrorist group ISIL took over the Mosul in northern Iraq, the country’s second largest city; whereas this was the start of a major offensive by this relatively small group which resulted in the takeover of significant parts of the country;

B.     whereas the Iraqi Security Forces were largely unable to stop ISIL, with many soldiers fleeing, pointing to fundamental problems within the armed forces;

C.     whereas ISIL has taken a large number of border crossings between Iraq and Syria;

D.     whereas at least 53 bodies have been found showing evidence of execution-style killings;

E.     whereas Iraq is facing not only serious security problems, but also political, sectarian, social and economic problems;

F.     whereas policies of the Iraqi government, including the violent repression of Sunni protests, have increased sectarian tensions and alienated parts of the Iraqi population;

G.     whereas widespread poverty, high unemployment, economic stagnation, environmental degradation and a lack of basic public services continue to affect a large proportion of the population; whereas in the past, numerous peaceful demonstrations demanding more social, economic and political rights have been met with systematic repression by the security forces, carried out with impunity;

H.     whereas press, media, and digital freedoms have been repeatedly and increasingly under attack, from both the government and extremist groups; whereas journalists and news outlets have been attacked or censored and Reporters Without Borders has called the situation in Anbar province a ‘news blackout’; whereas Iraq is rated as ‘not free’ by the 2014 Freedom in the World report by Freedom House;

I.      whereas, in response to the victories of ISIL, the Iraqi government has tried to block social media and in some parts of the country to shut down the internet, in an attempt to cut off communication between militants;

J.      whereas the Iraqi constitution guarantees equality for all citizens by law, along with the ‘administrative, political, cultural and educational rights of the various nationalities’; whereas the Iraqi government bears responsibility for ensuring that the rights, wellbeing and security of the whole population are guaranteed;

K.     whereas Iraq held parliamentary elections on 30 April 2014 and the government is in process of being constituted;

L.     whereas the president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, Massoud Barzani, has asked the regional government to prepare a referendum on independence; whereas Kurdish forces have taken control of certain areas in northern Iraq which were previously under control of the Iraqi Security Forces, most notably the city of Kirkuk;

M.    whereas the Commission’s total humanitarian support to Iraq since 2007 amounts to almost EUR 145 million, including support for Syrian refugees in Iraq; whereas on top of its humanitarian funding for 2014 of EUR 12 million, the Commission has decided to increase its assistance by EUR 5 million in response to the recent violence;

N.     whereas the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, in particular its human rights clause, emphasises that the EU-Iraq political dialogue should focus on human rights and on strengthening democratic institutions;

O.     whereas the US has sent hundreds of advisors and extra military equipment to the Iraqi government to help it fight ISIL and is using drones in the country;

P.     whereas Russia has supplied the Iraqi army with military equipment, including fighter jets;

Q.     whereas Iran has reportedly also provided military aid to the Iraqi government to help it combat ISIL;

R.     whereas Saudi Arabia has announced that it is moving armed forces towards its border with Iraq as Iraqi troops have withdrawn from the area;

S.     whereas the rise and proliferation of terrorism and extremism pose serious dangers to the EU and the international community, not in the least in the form of jihadists and other fighters returning to their home countries;

T.     whereas there are reports of the deliberate targeting of women and girls in Iraq and of kidnapping, rape and forced marriage by militants of ISIL and other armed groups;

1.      Expresses its deep concern at the rapid advance of ISIL and the inability of the Iraqi Security Forces to effectively repel the group;

2.      Expresses its condolences to all victims of the fighting and to their families;

3.      Condemns the violence and the reported mass executions by the ISIL forces; recognises the right of the Iraqi government to defend its sovereign territory, but urges the Iraqi Security Forces to act in line with international and national law and with respect for Iraq’s commitments to international agreements on human rights and fundamental freedoms;

4.      Is of the opinion that any effective response to the current crisis should not only focus on security, but should also address the systemic problems, political, economic and social, which must be faced in order to combat the marginalisation of certain minorities within Iraqi society, thus bridging the sectarian divide and ensuring the unity of the Iraqi state;

5.      Points out, in this regard, that counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency should comprise more than military action and must consist of a comprehensive approach which addresses the root causes of the violence and includes policies to foster trust and inclusive social and economic development;

6.      Expresses its grave concern over the new surge of instability, and calls on all Iraqi political leaders from all backgrounds to work together to put an end to sectarian violence and polarisation and bring the Iraqi people together; believes that religious leaders must not glorify violence and should assume their responsibility to ensure peaceful coexistence between people of different faiths and convictions within the Iraqi constitutional framework; calls, in this respect, for the reintegration of militias into the regular armed forces;

7.      Believes that the recent elections in Iraq present an opportunity to create a truly representative government with an inclusive agenda; urges all forces in Iraq to commit to such a government; urges the international community, especially the EU, to provide support to facilitate this process wherever possible;

8.      Is concerned by the timing of the call for a referendum on Kurdish independence, stressing that unity and inclusive democracy on the basis of a broad coalition in the Iraqi government and involving the Kurdish representation would provide the most stable platform from which to solve the current crisis; emphasises in this respect that none of the religious or ethnic groups would benefit from the break-up of the Iraqi state;

9.      Stresses the need to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in this time of crisis, notably freedom of expression, press freedom and digital freedoms;

10.    Is concerned at the links between violence and fighting in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, notably Syria; is of the opinion, therefore, that a regional dialogue is necessary to address the problems facing the region; calls on the international community, especially the EU, to facilitate such a dialogue and include all significant parties, in particular involving Iran and Saudi Arabia;

11.    Welcomes the Commission’s decision to increase humanitarian assistance to Iraq; remains convinced, however, that the EU can and should do more to promote and support a truly democratic and inclusive process in Iraq;

12.    Condemns the funding and support of terrorist and extremist groups and activities by Gulf states and Iran;

13.    Welcomes the intensified efforts by a number of EU Member States’ authorities to tackle the problem of EU citizens engaged in recruiting for or fighting with jihadist, extremist or other terrorist groups;

14.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Council of Representatives of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

(1)

Texs adopted, P7_TA(2012)0470.

(2)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0274.

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