Iraq

Political dialogue vital to promote peace and stability in Iraq – Ban

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3 January 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed concern about continuing political tensions in Iraq, urging all parties in the Middle East country “to work to resolve their differences peacefully through meaningful dialogue and compromise.”

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General said the ongoing issues could contribute to insecurity in the country, which has been hit by a series of recent bomb attacks.

“It is essential that pending political issues are resolved in a way that respects the constitution and its provisions for the separation of powers, the rule of law and an independent judiciary,” the statement noted.

As the Iraqi Government starts the New Year with the complete withdrawal of United States troops from the country, Mr. Ban said this is “an opportunity to further strengthen its democratically-elected institutions.”

Last month, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Martin Kobler, strongly condemned a bomb attack in Baghdad, which killed more than 60 people. Several other attacks have been reported against Iraqi politicians and Government officials in recent weeks.

Mr. Ban stressed in today’s statement that UNAMI is ready to consult with Iraqi leaders and provide assistance. The UN mission had its mandate extended by the Security Council for a period of 12 months in July last year.