Statement by the NATO PA President on the Situation in the Middle East

07 January 2020

Brussels/Budapest, 7 January 2020 - The Acting President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Attila Mesterhazy (Hungary), issued the following statement today concerning recent tensions in the Middle East:

“I watch the deteriorating security situation in the Middle East with grave concern and echo the call issued by NATO governments yesterday for restraint and de-escalation. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has consistently expressed concern in its reports and resolutions at Iran’s destabilising actions in the region, its support for terrorism, its missile programme, and supported efforts to prevent the development by Iran of a nuclear weapons programme. 

Recent attacks in Iraq against forces of the Global Coalition against Daesh have led NATO to suspend the activities of its training and capacity-building mission in Iraq in order to guarantee the safety and security of our deployed personnel. I welcome the reaffirmation by Allied governments yesterday that they are prepared to resume the mission’s activities as soon as circumstances allow. 

NATO’s non-combat mission and its participation in the Global Coalition against Daesh are helping ensure Daesh’s enduring defeat. Our troops and trainers are in Iraq at the invitation of the authorities, and they work to strengthen the capacity of Iraq’s security forces. The Mission is important for the stability and security of Iraq as well as for the security of our nations. The gains NATO and Iraq have achieved together are precious and should not be jeopardised. I regret therefore the Iraqi parliament’s adoption of a non-binding resolution calling upon the government to work towards ending the presence of all foreign troops. I look forward to discussing the way ahead with my Iraqi colleagues.”