dimanche 2 novembre 2014

ITF EU representative Dr. Hassan Aydinli attended the Delegation for Relations with Iraq meeting at the EU Parliament in Brussels

 Brussels, 16th October 2014.

Debate on: The critical situation of all ethnic and religious components of the Iraqi society, facing the "Islamic State" threat, with particular focus on minorities.

The new Chair of the Iraq Delegation MEP David CAMPBELL BANNERMAN
 and the new Vice-Chair MEP Brian HAYES

Dr. Hassan Aydinli represented the Turkmens;
Ms. Rima Tüzün, represented the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrians
Mr. Naher Arslan, represented the Assyrian Institute of Belgium.
A representative of the Iraqi Embassy in Brussels
 and the representative of the KRG in Brussels 
assisted to the debate.

Mr. William Spencer, Executive Director - International Institute for Law and Human Rights,
Mr. Mark Lattimer, Executive Director - Minority Rights Group International
assisted to the debate.

The new EU Parliament election took place 22-25 May 2014, the formation of political groups took place in June. The 751 newly elected Members of the EU Parliament took up their seats at the opening of the first session on 1st July 2014. The 751 MEPs who took up their seats in July will set the course of European Policies for the next five years. 

The 16th October 2014 was the first meeting with the new members of the Delegation for Relations with Iraq, as The Chair, Vice-Presidents and Members of the Delegation were appointed on 13th October 2014.

Before the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Hassan Aydinli introduced himself to the new Chairman and to the new Vice-President of the Delegation. He briefly introduced the Turkmens' cause and requested an appointment with them to have the opportunity to give them more information and documents about the Turkmens.  

The Chair David CAMPBELL BANNERMAN MEP after welcoming all the participants  said that the EU supports the Iraqi government in their fight against ISIL. 

Mr. Mark LATTIMER of MRGI said that 12.000 civilians had been killed this year, most of them belonging to the minorities, he added that the crimes remain uninvestigated.

Mr. William SPENCER of IILHR said that people's lives have been irrevocably changed in Iraq, there are 1.4 million displaced since June 2014 and that there is an urgent need to create safe havens for minorities, he also said that :

-There is need to increase support for NGOs.
- It is important to provide identity documents and ration cards for the IDPs.
-There is need for state assistance.
-There is need to create a Missing Persons Record.
-There is need to have a Property Commission.

Dr. Hassan Aydinli, ITF EU representative, described the sufferings of the Turkmens especially since 10th June 2014 when Turkmen cities and villages were attacked by ISIL. He gave the examples of Telafer, Beshir, Biravceli, Amirli. He said that there are 350.000 internally displaced Turkmens who are living under very dire conditions and who need humanitarian assistance, he added that more than 500 innocent Turkmens were killed by ISIL. 

Dr. Aydinli commented that as this meeting focusses on the "ethnic and religious minorities" of Iraq (implying the Iraqis who are not included in the  'Shia-Sunna-Kurds' description of the Iraqi peopleit is necessary to point out that the Shia, Sunna and Kurds are minorities too, seeing that none of these 3 groups is a majority on its own and that consequently, Iraq is a country composed of minorities, it is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, it is composed of the following ethnic groups:  Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Chaldeo-Syriac-Assyrians, Yezidis, Shabaks and it is composed of the following main religious groups:  Muslims and Christians. Dr. Aydinli added that therefore, it is inaccurate to continue describing the Iraqi people as 'Shia-Sunna-Kurds' omitting to mention the other ethnic and religious components of the Iraqi people. The Chair and the other participants agreed with Dr. Aydinli's comment.

NOTES: A Permanent ad hoc Delegation for the relations with Iraq has been in place since February 2008 with the aim of establishing a regular dialogue between the European Parliament and the Iraqi Council of Representatives. By the EP decision of 6 May 2009, the status of the Delegation was upgraded to the Permanent Delegation for Relations with Iraq, with the constitutive meeting on 30 September 2009.

The last inter-parliamentary meeting, held in September 2012 in Brussels, highly contributed to uphold continued cooperation, by creating the necessary framework for open debates on priority issues, such as: Fighting the widespread jihadist terrorism, Security and Regional issues, refugees, Internally Displaced People and EU cooperation assistance. A great deal of interest is granted to enhancing cooperation in: inclusiveness of all religious and ethnic components in the decision making process, Human Rights, the situation of women in Iraq and Family Law provisions, education, health and environment, economy, investment & construction; oil, gas and energy; parliamentary development.

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