(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The EU Monday expressed deep concern over the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Iraq.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council, meeting in Luxembourg, in a statement "strongly condemned the attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other armed groups against Iraqi citizens, leading to the loss of many lives and which seek to derail the democratic process." The EU reiterated its "firm commitment to Iraq's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, which are essential for stability and economic development in the country and the region." It also voiced its support to "the Iraqi authorities in the fight against terrorism and emphasizes that the security response needs to be combined with a sustainable political solution by the Government of Iraq involving all Iraqi leaders and communities in a spirit of national unity, putting their differences aside to jointly combat this threat and to restore security and the rule of law. Failure to do so will exacerbate the conflict and deepen the sectarian divide," noted the statement.
The EU congratulated the Iraqi people for holding the third democratic elections to the Iraqi Council of Representatives within the constitutional deadline.
It paid tribute to the courage of the many Iraqi citizens who went out to cast their votes, in spite of the security risks, and in so doing underlined their commitment to democracy in Iraq.
The statement urged "all political leaders and the judiciary to make sure that the constitutional provisions and deadlines are met and an inclusive government, representative of the will of the Iraqi population, is formed as a matter of urgency, so that it can address the challenges which Iraq faces." The statement emphasized that "the new government must take decisive measures to promote an inclusive approach, respect the rule of law and human rights and address the needs and legitimate aspirations of all components of Iraqi society, which are prerequisites for the stability and security of the country and the region." The EU also called on the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to work together in that aim.
The EU decided to increase its humanitarian assistance to Iraq by EUR five million to provide basic assistance to displaced people, thus bringing the 2014 humanitarian funding for Iraq to EUR 12 million so far.