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The US must finally withdraw from Iraq

In response to the US assassination of General Suleimani and nine others last week in Baghdad, the Iraqi parliament approved a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of US soldiers and all foreign troops stationed in the country and further to initiate the withdrawal of all foreign troops in the country that are part of the US-led alliance to fight the ISIS terrorist militia.

In a statement, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell urged an end to the current cycle of violence in Iraq before it spirals out of control. For the Left, Iraq has clearly been out-of-control for a long time and the EU’s failure to restrain the US in the region is a major part of that.

The US must respect the will of the Iraqi parliament. After claiming to have restored democracy in Iraq, the US must now respect its democratic will, rather than resorting to threats of sanctions.

We must not forget that prior to this assault, ordinary Iraqis were in the streets protesting the dire economic situation in the country, the lack of security and dignity. Hundreds were killed during the protests at the hands of the corrupt government, whose forces have received training from the EU.

The refusal to withdraw from Iraq would turn the coalition’s presence into a military occupation and constitute a massive violation of international law. The European Union Advisory Mission in Iraq should end and the EU must initiate an inclusive and sustainable social and economic assistance programme.

 

Letter sent to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday, 6th of January 2020:

 

Mr Borrell,

As you are the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, we are writing to you as very concerned members of the European Parliament.

The killings of Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis and others in Baghdad by the US is nothing short of an act of terrorism. The US has violated the sovereignty of Iraq and committed a terrible act of aggression against Iran. The Pentagon said that the killings were ‘defensive strikes aimed at deterring future Iranian attacks’ – this statement defies all rational thinking and you should say so publicly.

The killing of Soleimani does not meet the test of necessity and proportionality and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions Agnes Callamard, has said that the killings are unlawful and violate International Human Rights Law. The EU must decide if it is on the side of peace or illegal, immoral bombings and war. For too long the European Union has been complicit in the lawless behaviour of the US  – it is time for the EU to take a strong position and genuinely work for peace in the world, without fear or favour.

The world is a less safe place because of these US killings. The response of the EU at this stage can be decisive in terms of whether the situation escalates further or is reigned back in. The deaths of countless civilians and the forced exodus of people from their homes seeking refuge is at stake.

We are appealing to you to take a strong lead, and would appreciate an account of the action you intend to take as High Representative.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Signed,

 

Mick Wallace MEP

Clare Daly MEP

Kateřina Konečná MEP

Manu Pineda MEP

Sandra Pereira MEP

João Ferreira MEP

George Georgiou MEP

Anne-Sophie Pelletier MEP

Manuel Bompard MEP

Malin Björk MEP

Sira Rego MEP

Marc Botenga MEP

Cornelia Ernst MEP

Konstantinos Arvanitis MEP

Pernando Barrena MEP

Martin Buschmann MEP

Petros Kokkalis MEP

Marisa Matias MEP

Özlem Demirel MEP

Dimitrios Papadimoulis MEP

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