German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock concluded a four-day visit to Iraq on Friday with a call for more funding for foreign aid projects, despite resistance to higher spending from her finance colleagues in Berlin.
Without further support, Iraq and the region risked becoming a pawn in geopolitical tensions, Baerbock said in the southern city of Basra, citing the climate crisis, the threat of terrorism and other challenges.
“The integrated security policy is done with a lot of diplomacy, with a lot of international cooperation. But for this you also need financial means,” he said.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner earlier postponed a presentation of key figures for the 2024 budget due next week. Other ministries had submitted further requests amounting to 70 billion euros ($74.5 billion), for which Lindner sees no room for manoeuvre.
However, Baerbock called for a “more integrated approach” to state spending and said he had discussed it intensively with Lindner.
Germany’s national security strategy planned under the auspices of the foreign ministry will not only address the issue of increased defense funding but also support for international missions such as in Iraq, he said.
Different challenges were coming together in the country and different actors were trying to exploit it, Baerbock warned, citing visits to Iraq shortly before her by the Russian and Iranian foreign ministers.