UN Secretary General returns to Iraq for the first time in six years

Antonio Guterres is at the bedside of Iraq. The UN Secretary General assured the Iraqi people on Wednesday of his “solidarity” and of the support of the United Nations to accompany towards peace a country he is visiting for the first time in six years.

“It is a great pleasure for me to return to Baghdad,” he said on his arrival in the capital on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. “It’s a solidarity visit. Solidarity with the people and democratic institutions of Iraq, and a solidarity that means that the United Nations is fully committed to supporting the consolidation of the country’s institutions,” he added.

Guterres hopes for ‘a future of peace’ for Iraq

The Secretary General also expressed “his confidence that Iraqis will be able to overcome the difficulties and challenges they face through an open and inclusive dialogue”, underlining his “admiration” for this population. Supporting the government’s efforts to bring back Iraqis who have left the country, he also hoped for Iraq “a future of peace and prosperity, with consolidated democratic institutions”.

Antonio Guterres is due to meet this Wednesday with Prime Minister Mohamed Chia al-Soudani, as well as with representatives of groups defending the rights of women and young people. On Thursday, he will visit a camp for displaced people in the north of the country, before going to Erbil to meet with representatives of the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan.

His last visit to Iraq dates back to the spring of 2017. He will then go to Qatar, in particular for the summit of the least developed countries.

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