Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli arrived in the Iraqi capital this morning, where he had meetings with the Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Nazar Al Khairullah, the Deputy Prime Minister and interim Foreign Minister Hussein Al Shahristani, representatives of the Shiite community, President of the Parliament Salim Al Jubouri and newly-elected President of the Republic Fouad Masum.
The visit took place at a crucial moment for Iraq, on the eve of the Shiite community’s nomination of a candidate for Prime Minister. The birth of a new government could finally represent a concrete response to the advancement of ISIS. “It was important to express the international community’s solidarity with the Iraqi institutions”, Pistelli commented in the margins of the meetings, “ISIS is a threat not only to the territorial integrity of Iraq but also to the stability of the entire Middle East. We cannot remain passive in the face of this explosion of ethnic, sectarian and religious violence”. Deputy Minister Pistelli will meet tomorrow in Erbil with Kurdistan Region government representatives, religious authorities and NGOs to discuss the best ways to defend minority groups at this difficult stage for the country.