1st LD Writethru: Chinese envoy calls for continued int'l support for Iraq

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UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Tuesday asked the international community to continue its support for Iraq.

Currently, the political process in Iraq is at a critical stage, coupled with complex security challenges and severe economic and humanitarian situations, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

"The international community should fully respect the wishes of the Iraqi people, and support the Iraqi government in properly tackling various internal and external challenges, safeguarding national security and stability, and achieving economic and social development," he told the Security Council.

The international community should create a favorable environment for Iraq's political process and national reconciliation, he said.

The holding of elections is the most important political agenda of Iraq this year, and an important step in Iraq's transition. China commends Iraq's improvement of relevant legislation and its active advancement of electoral preparations. China hopes that elections will be held smoothly so as to achieve the aspirations of the Iraqi people.

Recently, Iraq once again wrote to the president of the Security Council on election assistance. Members of the council should, in light of the practice of the UN on election support, consider political, security, legal, and budgetary factors, among others, and carefully study and discuss the demands of Iraq, he said.

Enhancing unity and friendship among parties in Iraq, achieving tolerance and reconciliation, and accelerating integration and development are not only in the fundamental interests of the Iraqi people, but also conducive to regional peace and stability, he said.

"We support the further improvement of the relationship between the federal and the Kurdistan regional governments, which should continue their communication and dialogue on revenue sharing and the budget allocation in a joint search of sustainable solutions," Geng said.

He called on the international community to support Iraq's efforts in consolidating counter-terrorism achievements and safeguarding national security.

"The international community should continue to support Iraq in dealing with the threat of terrorism and cracking down on the remnants of terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State. It should assist Iraq in solving the problem of foreign terrorist fighters and consolidating the hard-won achievements in countering terrorism," Geng said.

It is essential to actively support Iraq in holding terrorists accountable, fully respect Iraq's judicial sovereignty, and avoid double standards on counter-terrorism issues, he added.

China commends the development of mutually beneficial and friendly relations between Iraq and regional countries. All parties concerned should adhere to the principle of good neighborliness and friendship, jointly tackle cross-border challenges and effectively respect the sovereignty of the countries concerned. Any military action on Iraqi territory must obtain the consent of the Iraqi government, he said.

The international community should help Iraq fight COVID-19, develop its economy, and improve people's livelihood, said Geng.

For a while, low oil prices and the spread of the pandemic have posed daunting challenges to the reconstruction and development of Iraq. China takes note of the Iraqi government's efforts to strengthen the prevention and control of the pandemic and to stabilize the economy. The international community should actively fulfill its commitments, continue to provide assistance to Iraq, support its reconstruction of key infrastructure, promote diversified economic development, enhance public service capacity, and improve the situation of vulnerable groups, such as displaced persons, he said.

Over the years, China has provided vigorous support for Iraq's reconstruction and development through pragmatic cooperation in various forms. China will continue to work with the international community to help the Iraqi government and people cope with difficulties and challenges and achieve peace, stability, and development at an early date, he said. Enditem

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