On March 2nd – 3rd, 2015 International Conference “Toward Peace and Reconciliation in Iraq” took place in Riga, Latvia. It brought together parliamentarians, ambassadors, researchers, academics and political leaders from the European Union, the USA, the UN and Iraq. The development of an effective, global solution platform to end the crisis in Iraq peacefully was the main focus of this high level conference and its objective.
“The aim of the conference is to raise awareness and facilitate discussions on the present situation in Iraq, misconceptions of Iraqi internal politics and how to DEAL with ISIS”, announces Sheikh Jamal Abdulwahhab Khamees, Honorary President of the International Foundation "Peace Ambassadors for Iraq" (PAFI). PAFI is a Non-Governmental Organization founded and registered in the Republic of Latvia. The Foundation is confident in the interest and goodwill of global political leaders from the European Union, the USA, and the UN regarding the Iraqi crisis.
PAFI believes that Iraq’s issues can still be resolved peacefully when Iraqis can sit together with the help, guidance and even pressure from the European Union, the USA and the UN.
“Striving for peace and reconciliation in Iraq now that Latvia has assumed the Presidency of the Council of European Union in 2015, PAFI instead of sowing one season seeds is now planting a tree with the fruits mellowing soon for decades” expressed Mr. Karlis Boldisevics International Foundation "Peace Ambassadors for Iraq" Head of the Parliamentary Affairs Division.
The conference discussed solutions that are based on a number of political and social reforms that could put an end to Iraq's division on political, social, religious or ethnic grounds, which are largely the main cause of the conflicts coupled with misunderstandings by the international community.
In the two-day conference sessions and workshops on the current situation in Iraq and the Middle East covering ISIS roots, history, causes and external forces have been discussed. The role and responsibility of Europe, the USA and the UN has been clearly highlighted. The positive engagement and involvement will no doubt show the possible gains for all of the parties involved in the peace and reconciliation process in Iraq and especially the ordinary people of Iraq.
Speakers at the conference included Mr. Peter Hoekstra, former member United States House of Representatives, Dr. Hassan Fahmi Jumaah, Secretary General of the Iraqi Forum for Intellectuals & Academics, Mr. Robert Torricelli, former US Senator, Mr. Mokhtar Lamani, Former Special Permanent Representative for Iraq, Mr. Struan Stevenson, Former Chairman EP Delegation for relations with Iraq, Mr. Ramzy Mardini, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council, Dr. Steven O’Brien, Editor at The London Magazine, and many others.
European Foundation for Freedom was represented by its Researcher Ms. Tijana Tufek. The participation in the conference offered a valuable insight in the actual situation in Iraq as well as possible future scenarios for that area. Bringing peace in Iraq and stabilising the area of Middle East must be brought forward in the foreign policy discussion at the EU decision making level, in order to stop the continuous humanitarian crisis, that mostly affects the countries of the European Union in terms of immigration and humanitarian aid.