What happens in Iraq and the wider region affects Germany more than countries such as the US, underlined Nils Wörmer, the head of Syria/Iraq Office for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), during his visit with a fact-finding German delegation to the Middle East Research Institute (MERI) on Wednesday, 16 November 2016.
Nils Wörmer was accompanied by Lucas Lamberty and Laura Fargelat from KAS, and Leonie von Boackelberg, Sabina Altsach and Alexander Möckesch, advisors to Bundestag’s committees on defence, economic development and foreign affairs. The delegation were part of a fact-finding mission which tries to build a comprehensive understanding of the current humanitarian, political and military situation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
In his meeting with MERI staff, Wörmer stressed that EU officials expect that the issue of disputed territories will top the local agenda once the Islamic State (IS) is militarily defeated, but he also argued that internal Kurdish politics are extremely important for the area and that the Europeans may not be very aware of this fact.
MERI’s President, Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, argued that European countries need to engage with the Kurdish and Iraqi leadership constructively in order to promote democracy, good governance and rule of law. He also suggested that regional stability has to be built by regional stakeholders.
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About MERI: The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region. Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.
MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).