Shafaq News / The United Kingdom commended the measures taken by the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, to ensure the safety of citizens amid the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Acting UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, James Roscoe, said that the UK is helping Iraq in its fight against COVID-19, including through the provision of over $12 million in assistance, noting that his country considers the significant challenge the virus is causing in Iraq, as spelt out by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG).
Roscoe added, "The UK is also committed to supporting the government in addressing the broader challenges facing Iraq. The most urgent of these is tackling the economic crisis facing the country through undertaking crucial economic reforms. Again, the UK will help, including through our technical assistance partnership with Iraq that we agreed just this week".
"We also welcome Prime Minister Kadhimi’s moves to prioritize economic stabilization. However, it’s clear that the challenges of Covid-19, combined with the collapse in oil prices and consequent budget deficit, are compounding long-standing problems posed by Iraq’s undiversified economy and rapid population growth. Reforms, although difficult, are necessary if Iraq is to achieve long-term economic and social stability. So we urge the Council of Ministers to put forward a reform programme without delay and to build parliamentary support for it. The UK stands ready to support and has already contributed over $19 million to the World Bank Iraq Reform and Reconstruction Fund", he added.
Regarding the Iraqi-Kuwaiti cooperation, Roscoe said, " We commend Prime Minister Kadhimi’s efforts to strengthen bilateral relations with Kuwait, including to strengthen cooperation on the Kuwaiti missing persons and property file and the return of the remaining Kuwaiti National Archives. We call for the resolution of all outstanding issues".
"We note President Kadhimi’s call for early elections in June 2021, and we urge the Council of Representatives to complete the outstanding work on the electoral law and associated issues. We will work closely with UNAMI and the Government of Iraq and the Independent High Electoral Commission to ensure that the elections, when held, are free and will allow the Iraqi people to have a genuine voice in their future", he concluded.