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Canada-Iraq Relations

Since April 2013, Canada is represented in Iraq by a diplomatic mission in Baghdad, an office of Canada’s Embassy to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Republic of Iraq in Amman. Its mission is to support Canada’s contributions to effective global governance and international security, including Canada’s contribution to the U.S.-led coalition of partner countries determined to degrade and defeat the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS); to promote good governance, democracy, pluralism and respect for human rights in Iraq; and to contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity through the expansion of the Canadian-Iraqi trade and investment relationship. Consular services to Canadians, as well as immigration services to visitors to Canada and international students, are delivered from Canada’s Embassy in Jordan.

Iraq is represented in Canada by the Embassy of Iraq in Ottawa.

Bilateral relations: Canada believes that the establishment of a secure, stable and democratic Iraq is in the interest of global peace and prosperity. In 2003, Canada chose not to join the US-led military coalition to Iraq. However, it was among the first countries to provide humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein, disbursing $300 million toward Iraqi reconstruction and humanitarian assistance between 2003 and 2010.

Iraq’s transition to democracy has not been easy. Since 2014, the country is grappling with a brutal terrorist insurgency. Canada is concerned by the upsurge in violence, which has led to a high rate of internal displacement and indiscriminate violence towards civilians, particularly religious and ethnic minorities. Canada is committed to working with Iraq to develop the country’s pluralistic federalism and to uphold its religious diversity.

In June 2014, Iraq became one of Canada’s development partners.   Iraq is receiving targeted funding for humanitarian needs that includes assistance to respond to the needs of Iraq’s internally displaced people and refugees of the Syrian crisis. It is also benefiting from Canada-funded regional initiatives, as well as stabilization and security programming.
Commercial ties: In 2014, Iraq was Canada’s second largest two-way trading partner in the Middle East, with bilateral trade amounting to $2.1 billion. Canadian private sector activities in Iraq benefit both the people of Iraq and Canadian citizens. Iraq’s natural resources and reconstruction efforts will continue to create significant business opportunities for Canadian companies. A Canada Trade Office located in Erbil supports the expansion of commercial ties between Canada and Iraq.

Resettlement of Iraqi refugees: Working with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Canada plays an active part in resettling Iraqi refugees living in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Canada has surpassed its 2009 commitment to resettle 20,000 Iraqi refugees from the Middle East by 2015 and has made a new commitment in 2015 to resettle 3,000 additional Iraqi refugees.

July 2015

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