Why the EU Parliament cancelled its official visit to Iraq?

2013-03-05 – By Roni Alasor / Lorin Sarkisian – araratnews / Why the European Parliament cancelled its visit to Iraq?

Brussels, 4 March  2013 – Ararat News (ANP) – European Parliament’s (EP) Delegation for relations with Iraq had to cancel its planned visit to Bagdad due to unwillingness of the Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to receive the European parliamentarians. Struan Stevenson, chair of the EP – Iraq Delegation explains the reasons of this cancellation and points out the danger of a new genocide happening again in current Iraq, under the rule of Prime Minister Maliki.

Talking to Ararat News (ANP), the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Stevenson said that “The government of Maliki has become now a puppet government of the Mollahs and Teheran, allowing the flow of military personnel and arms from Iran to Syria”.

The EP Mission to Iraq had to take place from 11th to 15th February 2013 with a programme including meetings with officials in the Iraqi capital Bagdad and in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region.

Struan Stevenson gives the reasons and the circumstances of the cancellation: “We have bought our tickets to fly to Bagdad, we had visas, and we have booked our hotels. We were in daily discussions with the European External Action Service in Bagdad. We were all prepared to go. We had a meeting with the Ambassador of Iraq to EU and said that we have no program from your side; we need to have a program. He said the program will be ready whenever you arrive. Our security people said unless we can see a program that we can show to our security liaison officers in Bagdad, we will not allowed you to go. We have until Wednesday evening before we depart to Bagdad on Saturday, to provide us with a program. And we got no response from the Embassy. So the Parliament refused to give me permission to go and I said in that case, I will simply go to Erbil and take my delegation to Erbil, because there we know what the program is, we know we are visiting the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, we are going to Suleymania and Halabja. But the Parliament said that under the Protocol, because it is an Interparliamentary meeting, you must first of all go to Bagdad and meet your counterparts in the Parliament in Bagdad and therefore, you cannot have provision simply to go to Erbil. So they said that it was not possible”.

Mr. Stevenson said that these developments will change the attitude of the EP Members to Maliki and to his Government in negative way.