BRUSSELS, Jan 17 (KUNA) -- The European Parliament Thursday endorsed the EU's first-ever partnership deal with Iraq.
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) will boost EU-Iraq ties in a range of areas, from trade and investment to development, noted an EP statement.
"The PCA is a symbol of the EU's determination to play an important role in Iraq's transition.
"We must however match our political ambitions and the strategic stakes involved with the human and financial resources needed," said the rapporteur of the accord, Mario Mauro, an Italian MEP.
Under the renewable 10-year deal signed on 11 May 2012 and now endorsed by the EP, ministers will meet each year to review progress with peace, democracy and the rule of law.
The EU will also help Iraq accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The agreement also promotes human rights and fundamental freedoms and seeks to combat terrorism and the proliferation of weapons.
The EP also voiced alarm at continuing acts of violence against civilians, vulnerable groups and religious communities and call for tougher action by the Iraqi authorities against inter-ethnic violence. (end) nk.sd KUNA 171557 Jan 13NNNN
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