BAGHDAD (AFP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Iraq for his first visit in six years Tuesday in a show of “solidarity” after a drawn-out political crisis in the country.
Guterres said he wanted to demonstrate “solidarity with the people and the democratic institutions of Iraq and a solidarity that means that the United Nations is totally committed to support the consolidation of the institutions in this country.”
He said he also wanted to express his “confidence that Iraqis will be able to overcome the difficulties and challenges they still face through an open and inclusive dialogue.”
Guterres, who landed overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in Baghdad, is due to meet Wednesday with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, as well as representatives of women’s and youth rights groups.
On Thursday, he will visit a camp for displaced people in the north of the country, before going to Irbil to meet with representatives of the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan.
His last visit to the country was back in spring 2017.
He will then travel on to Qatar, where he will attend the summit of the Least Developed Countries.