Second interparliamentary meeting between the European Parliament delegation for relations with Iraq and the Iraqi Council of Representatives EU Frie
On Wednesday 22 April and Thursday 23 April the European Parliament hosted a high level delegation of Iraqi MPs for its second round of interparliamentary meetings in the Strasbourg.
The Iraqi delegation was led by Sheikh Khalid Al Atiyyah the First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives and included several Committee Chairs and other distinguished Members of Parliament.
As President of the Delegation for relations with Iraq Baroness Nicholson MEP chaired a three hour meeting between the two delegations on Wednesday 22 April, which was attended by Members of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and co-chaired by its first Vice Chairman Mr Libor Roucek MEP.
Representatives of the European Council of Ministers and of the European Commission participated in the meeting and expressed there appreciation and continuing support of this important interparliamentary relationship.
After the interparliamentary meeting the delegation was received by President Pöttering who warmly welcomed the Iraqi delegation in the European Parliament and congratulated Baroness Nicholson and Sheikh Al Atiyyah on both of their colleagues' achievements of the past 15 months.
On Thursday 23 April the delegation met with leaders of all major political groups each of whom underlined the crucial importance of the growing relationship between the European Union and Iraq and welcomed the interparliamentary work between the EU and Iraq.
During the official lunch Baroness Nicholson and Sheikh Kahalid Al Atiyyah signed a Joint Declaration, which stressed past and current achievements of their delegations and outlined its plan to broaden and enhance its relations in the years to come. In its concluding paragraph the declaration states:
"We commit to the setting up of a Friendship Institute, which would enhance and develop the work of the Parliamentary Delegations by adding cultural, business, industry and civil society dimensions".
Both delegations are currently working out the possibilities to establish a joint secretariat for supporting the Friendship Institute, which would be based in Iraq as well in Europe.