On January 23-27, Al-Bayan Center participated in an Iraqi delegation visit to Germany organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The visit featured a series of meetings in Hamburg and Berlin with research institutes, members of the German federal parliament, and officials from the federal government including the Foreign Office and Chancellery.
Throughout the visit, the delegation discussed ways to enhance bilateral ties between Iraq and Germany in areas of mutual interest including efforts to combat violent extremism and create conditions for greater stability in the Middle East; humanitarian relief for IDPs and refugees; and responses to the global financial crisis.
As a member of the international coalition to counter ISIS, Germany plays a leading role in stabilization of liberated areas in Iraq including provision of basic services and employment opportunities for displaced persons. For the past two years, Germany has also led a training mission in the Kurdistan Region to support Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS.
The delegation explored potential areas where bilateral cooperation could be reinforced, including the provision of vocational training to IDPs and volunteer fighters who have returned home in order to enhance employment prospects; opportunities for boosting German investment in Iraq, particularly for large infrastructure projects; and expanding Germany’s existing training mandate to include greater cooperation with Iraqi Security Forces and intelligence sharing to counter the threat of terrorism posed to both countries.
The trip also featured tours of Germany’s federal parliament (Bundestag) and federal council (Bundestrat) where the delegation explored the nature of Germany’s federal arrangements and mechanisms that safeguard the country’s democratic institutions.