Remarks by European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton following the signature of EU-Iraq Partnership & Cooperation Agreement (11/05/2012)
Remarks by European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton following the signature of EU-Iraq Partnership & Cooperation Agreement
I am delighted to be here today with Foreign Minister Zebari, to sign an Agreement which I am convinced is good for Iraq, good for the EU, and good for our long term relationship.
That is what the Agreement is all about: sealing our common wish to work together on a whole range of issues where we both have much to gain. This is the first ever such Agreement between the EU and Iraq. Today, we can proudly say, is an historic and symbolic day in our relationship. We are opening a new chapter.
We commit ourselves today to work better and talk more often on political matters, including regular discussions on the key challenges in a crucial but troubled region.
These multiple challenges affect us both: from countering terrorism to promoting and protecting human rights.
We are also committed to boosting trade and investment between the EU and Iraq. Economics meets politics: increased trade and investment will be crucial to back the work on the political front to support Iraq’s transformation into a stable and prosperous democratic nation.
Iraq is a young democracy, and the road ahead will not always be smooth. For me this agreement is above all a symbol of the EU’s wish to be a positive partner for Iraq in its democratic efforts.
It brings together the EU and its Member States as a fitting testament to the EU’s determination to build a long-term partnership, not just today or tomorrow, but for many years to come.
Last but not least, I want to thank our Iraqi friends, EEAS and Commission staff, and Member State representatives for their hard work in bringing the negotiations for this important Agreement to a very successful conclusion.
Photos of the PCA signing event are available here:
Video of the signing event is available here: