Minister for Foreign Affairs visits Iraq
On Monday, Carl Bildt began a visit to Iraq together with Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. They arrived in Baghdad in the afternoon for meetings with Iraq's acting foreign minister Hussain al-Shahristani and President Faud Masum. Mr Bildt will visit Erbil tomorrow.
Continuing his visit to Iraq on Tuesday, Carl Bildt was in Erbil, capital of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), with European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva. While Monday's talks in Baghdad were dedicated to political challenges, the focus on Tuesday was on the enormous humanitarian needs in the wake of IS's brutal advance.
Since the beginning of the crisis, Sweden has provided extensive humanitarian assistance on the ground in Iraq. As the situation has deteriorated further in recent days, a decision on additional assistance has been taken.
- An additional SEK 50 million in humanitarian assistance to the people who are now fleeing ISIL
- Personnel and equipment from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
- Increased diplomatic presence
The situation in Iraq is exceptionally serious. The situation is urgent and the humanitarian needs are great. The UN estimates that at least 1.5 million people in Iraq now need humanitarian assistance and that at least 1.2 million people - probably more - are displaced.
In response to the serious situation, Sweden has substantially increased its humanitarian assistance to Iraq.
Deadlocks in the United Nations Security Council are substantially obstructing a response to the situation in Iraq. We now call on the Council to unite around an effective strategy to re-establish lawful, democratic and representative control over the areas that ISIL has seized in Iraq, write Fredrik Reinfeldt and Carl Bildt.
The European Union and Canada have now finalised a free trade agreement. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada is the most ambitious and far-reaching agreement the EU has negotiated so far. It means that tariffs on industrial goods between the EU and Canada will be removed and over 90 per cent of tariffs on agricultural goods will be abolished.
Sweden was one of the few non-African countries invited to take part in a side event to the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC. The Summit reflects the growing importance of the new Africa in world politics. The invitation Sweden received acknowledges Sweden's role as a long-term partner in Africa's development.
The European Union is introducing additional sanctions on Russia. The sanctions are being imposed as Russia continues to destabilise Ukraine by actively supporting the separatists in the eastern parts of the country at the same time as its illegal annexation of Crimea continues.
The downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was in focus when the EU foreign ministers gathered in Brussels on 22 July. The ministers also discussed the worrying escalation of violence in the Middle East and called for a ceasefire. Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt took part in the meeting.
On 9 July at a ceremony in the Capitol - the seat of the US Congress - Raoul Wallenberg will be honoured with the Congressional Gold Medal. The ceremony in Washington DC will be attended by members of Raoul Wallenberg's family, Speaker of the Riksdag Per Westerberg and Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, among others.
The visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt to the US capital, Washington DC, continued on Tuesday. The programme included a meeting with President Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice and a speech at the Atlantic Council think tank.