UN top envoy in Iraq warns Syrian conflict is affecting the region

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Nickolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)

The Geneva II peace conference for Syria and the interim agreement on Iran's nuclear programme are “positive” steps that will have a “positive” impact on the ground in Iraq and the region.

That's what Nickolay Mladenov, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, told reporters on Monday following his briefing to the Security Council on the work of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The conflict in Syria has added a regional dimension to sectarian tensions in Iraq, he warned. The presence of nearly 35,000 armed foreigners on Syrian territory from dozens of countries has had an impact on the increasing frequency of terrorist acts in Iraq, Mr. Mladenov added.

"UNAMI will continue to work very closely with the Government of Iraq, with the regional authorities and every province, with civil society, with all political, religious and civic leaders in the country, to make sure we identify how best we can support the efforts of the Iraqi people to bring about reconciliation and to bring development in parts of the country where development is still needed."

Mr. Mladenov says he believes the Government and political parties should observe the election date scheduled for 30 April 2014.

He promised UNAMI would continue to support the electoral committee in Iraq and work closely with all authorities to make sure the elections are done in a proper and transparent manner, and in the time frame stipulated by law.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’25”

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