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Shafaq News / Britain praised the measures taken by the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to ensure the safety of citizens while they combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK’s Acting Deputy Head of Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador James Roscoe, said the UK is helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including by providing $ 12 million in aid. However, we are aware of the extent of the challenge posed by the virus in Iraq, according to the briefing provided by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General .
The British ambassador emphasized: The United Kingdom is committed to assisting the government in addressing the broader challenges facing Iraq. The most urgent of these challenges is addressing the economic crisis facing the country, through the introduction of necessary economic reforms. Here, too, the UK can help, including by partnering with Iraq with our technical expertise, on which we agreed this week .
He also welcomed the steps taken by Prime Minister Al-Kazemi to prioritize economic stability. But it is clear that the challenges due to Covid-19, along with the collapse of oil prices and the consequent budget deficit, exacerbate long-standing problems caused by the lack of diversification of the economy in Iraq and rapid population growth. These reforms, though difficult, are necessary for Iraq to achieve long-term economic and social stability .
And he noted that therefore we urge the Council of Ministers to put forward a reform program without delay, and to mobilize parliamentary support for it. The United Kingdom stands ready to help, and has already contributed more than $ 19 million to the World Bank’s fund for reform and reconstruction in Iraq.
The British delegate praised the efforts of Prime Minister Al-Kazemi to consolidate bilateral relations with Kuwait, including strengthening cooperation on missing Kuwaitis and on the property file, and returning what was left of the Kuwaiti National Archives. We call for all outstanding issues to be resolved .
He said: We note the call of Prime Minister Al-Kazimi to hold early elections in June 2021, and urge the House of Representatives to complete the necessary work on the electoral law and related issues .
Ambassador Roscoe concluded by saying: We will work closely with the United Nations Support Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), the Iraqi government and the Independent High Electoral Commission to ensure that the elections, when held, are free and allow the Iraqi people to truly express their voice about their future.