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Iraqi government asks the United Nations to wind down its political mission in the country

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BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi government has requested that the United Nations end a mission set up to promote governance and human rights reforms in the country by the end of 2025, the latest in a series of international bodies operating in the nation that Iraq has sought to wind down.

The letter sent Wednesday by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared that there is “no need for the continuation” of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Sudani said Iraq’s government has “been able to achieve a number of important steps” in areas that fall under the body’s mandate. rendering it redundant.

Typically, the mission is extended annually by the U.N. Security Council, with the current term expiring at the end of this month.

Sudani’s letter did not oppose a one-year extension but said the mission should focus on wrapping up its tasks to ensure a permanent closure and transfer of its responsibilities by the end of 2025.

Established in 2003 in the wake of the U.S. invasion that toppled longtime dictator Saddam Hussein, UNAMI had been tasked with a number of missions, including facilitating dialogue among various groups, assisting with election logistics, monitoring human rights, and coordinating aid in conflict-affected areas.

A UNAMI spokesperson declined to comment on the Iraqi government request.

Iraqi government spokesperson Bassim al-al-Awadi said that the work of other U.N. agencies in Iraq would continue and that Baghdad would seek technical support for key projects such as electoral processes.

Sudani’s government has made a series of moves to extricate Iraq from the presence of international bodies set up post-2003.

Earlier this year, Iraq initiated discussions to phase out the mission of a U.S.-led military coalition formed to fight the Islamic State group.

Baghdad has also decided not to renew the mandate for the U.N. Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by ISIS, and requested that the team exit by September 2024.

BY ABDULRAHMAN ZEYAD
Associated Press

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