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Crucial times ahead in Iraq UN envoy tells European officials

Important provincial elections slated for October are just one reason why this year is likely to prove so critical, Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, said during interviews with several leading European media outlets.While in the Belgian capital Mr. de Mistura met with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and with Robert Cooper, Director-General for Politico-Military Affairs at the Secretariat of the Council of the EU. He also briefed the EU Council’s Security Committee and held talks with Belgian diplomats.In his meetings Mr. de Mistura said his visit to Brussels was a recognition of the vital role that Europe plays in Iraq, noting that no activities would be possible without EU financial backing and that the UN and the EU were working towards the same objective – bringing peace and stability to Iraq. 11 April 2008The senior United Nations envoy in Iraq today concluded a two-day visit to Brussels during which he stressed to European Union and NATO officials and to the media that 2008 will be a crucial year for the violence-wracked country. read more