The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the upsurge of violence throughout Iraq that has left many dead and injured hundreds over the past week. He expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wishes the wounded a speedy recovery.
The Secretary-General calls on the Iraqi Security Forces to exert utmost restraint in maintaining law and order, and he calls on the demonstrators to preserve the peaceful nature of their protests. He welcomes the successful meeting between the representatives of the demonstrators, local officials and the Iraqi Security Forces which has defused tensions in Ramadi, Anbar Governorate.
The Secretary-General is concerned about the recent decision to withdraw licenses from several TV channels in the country and urges relevant authorities to reconsider their decision. He recalls that freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of democracy.
The Secretary-General urges all Iraqi leaders to come together and engage in constructive and inclusive dialogue with the firm determination of overcoming the deep political crisis the country is facing. He welcomes the recent visit of a high-level delegation from the Kurdistan Region to Baghdad and the resumption of dialogue with the Central Government to find long-lasting solutions to their outstanding issues.
The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations, including the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), to support and assist the Government and people of Iraq in building a peaceful, democratic and prosperous country.