(Izmir, Turkey 20-22 Oct. 2023)
I convey the warmest greetings of the Iraqi Communist Party to the 23rd International Meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties, wishing its deliberations every success.
We also highly appreciate the efforts of the fraternal Communist Party of Turkey to host this meeting, despite the political challenges it is facing, thereby demonstrating once again its internationalist character and contribution to strengthening this international forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences and developing joint action.
On this occasion, we reiterate our solidarity with the people of Turkey and TKP, and their ongoing struggle to achieve real change, against despotic rule, exploitation and corruption; to build a democratic and secular country enjoying freedom, equality and social justice.
Our 23rd International Meeting is taking place in a dangerous world situation, with the escalation of armed conflicts and wars, as highlighted most recently by developments in the Middle East and the continuing barbaric Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people in Gaza.
The contradiction between the interests of monopoly capital, and its global dimension represented by imperialism, and the right of peoples to live in peace, security, freedom, dignity and sustainable human development, has been blatantly evident throughout the world. The general crisis of capitalism has returned with ferocity after the failure of neoliberalism to provide any solutions to it. Among its important new features are environmental degradation, global warming and climate change, which increasingly express a profound contradiction between capitalism and life itself.
Instead of the era of unipolar hegemony continuing and the United States remaining an undisputed superpower, it is facing the decline of its economic dominance. It is actively seeking to obstruct the formation of a new world order whose features are beginning to emerge, with the changing balance of power and the decline in the productive capacity of capitalist countries. In this context, war hysteria is being fuelled, providing support to the populist far right, and stirring up racist and fascist tendencies. In the light of these turbulent and dangerous conditions, despite the opportunities that they may entail, the forces of the Left in the world and in each country face grave challenges that necessitate developing their unity and presenting alternatives and visions for radical change. This is vital to save their peoples and humanity from imminent disasters and to achieve their aspirations for a new social order based on the values of democracy, equality, justice and cooperation, which are the basic values of socialism.
The war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, which erupted a year and eight months ago, is continuing without any prospect of serious negotiations to reach a political settlement that would put an end to the tragedies suffered by the peoples of both two countries, prevent its expansion, and avert its grave dangers to world peace.
Peace initiatives by China, Brazil and other countries did not get a response due to the insistence of the United States and its NATO allies on perpetuating the war to exhaust Russia and prevent it from achieving a strategic victory, as they claim, while Russia reaffirms its intention to continue military operations until achieving its minimum goals. With the continuing provocations by NATO in Europe and Russia’s deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, the world is facing more than ever before the danger that this war can turn into a catastrophic global war.
Averting this dangerous path requires the mobilization of a global peace movement to demand an immediate end to this war and a return to negotiations and dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations to reach a permanent peace agreement that spares the peoples of the two countries further devastating tragedies.
The Middle East is witnessing grave developments, with the barbaric Israeli aggression against Gaza and the slaughter of innocent Palestinian civilians. The continuing deadly bombing campaign has so far killed 3,000 people, including more than 700 children. The Zionist occupiers also enforced a complete siege on Gaza, blocking supplies of food, medicines and fuel. This onslaught constitutes a flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime.
The escalation of Palestinian popular resistance came as a legitimate response to the heinous crimes that Netanyahu’s fascist government, the occupation forces and Zionist settler gangs continued to commit against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The recent developments confirm once again the established fact that there can be no security and stability in the Middle East region except by ending the Israeli occupation, and the Palestinian people obtaining their full legitimate rights to self-determination, freedom, return and independence, and establishing their independent national state with Jerusalem as its capital.
These developments have also reaffirmed the blatant bias of the United States and its allies towards Israel, their unlimited support for it, and their obstruction of the implementation of UN resolutions, allowing it to continue its illegal occupation and crimes against the Palestinian people.
While condemning atrocities against innocent civilians, the Iraqi Communist Party calls for:
- An immediate cessation of the bloody Israeli military aggression and massacre against Gaza, a complete lifting of the unjust racist siege, and the delivery of relief aid to innocent civilians.
- Rejecting the forced displacement and resettlement of the population of Gaza outside it, under the cover of so-called “safe corridors” and “safe zones”, and the pretext of protecting the civilian population from the brutal Israeli bombing.
- Standing firmly against attempts to transform the Palestinian issue from one of a people with a legitimate right to self-determination, and the establishment of their independent national state, into a purely humanitarian issue.
- Exposing the crimes against humanity and war crime committed by Israel’s rulers, ending their impunity, and demanding that the International Criminal Court immediately investigate these crimes.
- Intensifying international solidarity with the Palestinian people, demanding an end to the Israeli occupation and the implementation of relevant UN resolutions.
In this context, we call on this International Meeting to raise its voice to condemn strongly the horrific war crime committed by the fascist Israeli government and its Zionist occupation army last Tuesday (October 17, 2023) by bombing the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds of Palestinian civilians, most of whom were children.
Our Iraqi Communist Party also reiterates, before this International Meeting, its full solidarity with the Sudanese people and their patriotic and democratic forces, first and foremost the Sudanese Communist Party, and its support for their struggle to stop the disastrous war that was ignited by the military rulers six months ago, with more than 5,000 innocent civilians killed. We call on the Communist and Workers' parties participating in this meeting to declare their solidarity with the Sudanese people, democrats and Communists, to reject external interference in Sudan, achieve democratic change and build the people’s democratic civil authority.
Iraqi Communists, along with the democratic forces, are continuing the fight for comprehensive change: building a democratic civil state based on social justice.
Our country continues to suffer the consequences of a deepening structural crisis that is rooted in the existing ethno-sectarian power-sharing system which was installed after the US war, invasion and occupation 20 years ago. With widespread corruption, a widening gap between the rich and the poor, and the absence of social justice, there has been an upsurge in the protest movement.
Despite the bloody repression of the Popular Uprising in October 2019, with 800 young protesters killed, the protests are continuing against a politically bankrupt system and endemic corruption.
The Iraqi Communist Party, and the “Alliance of Democratic Forces for Change” which held its founding conference in Baghdad in October 2022, will contest the forthcoming provincial elections in December this year. These elections are considered another arena of struggle, with the aim of mobilising all the social forces looking for a real political alternative that expresses the aspirations of the Iraqi people to achieve comprehensive change.
The Communist Party and its allies have succeeded in establishing a broad electoral coalition, under the name of “Qiyam (Values) Civil Coalition”. It includes ten registered parties, in addition to other political groups, and will contest the local elections with 400 candidates in 13 provinces. The Party is also participating in civil electoral lists in two other provinces.
The political platform of this electoral coalition calls for ending the corrupt political system and armed militias, and building a state based on citizenship and social justice. Only such a democratic alternative can ensure Iraq’s national sovereignty and put an end to foreign interference in its internal affairs, whether by the US and its allies or by regional powers.
On this occasion, we express our high appreciation for the internationalist solidarity and support extended by many fraternal parties to the Iraqi people, Communists and democrats in their just struggle.
While wishing the 23rd International Meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties every success, we once again extend our warm greetings to all the delegates, with special thanks to the fraternal Communist Party of Turkey.
We look forward to further developing relations with all the fraternal parties, and with the forces of peace and progress in the world, in the joint struggle for peace, freedom, democracy, social progress and socialism.
Long live internationalist solidarity!
The Central Committee
Iraqi Communist Party
18 October 2023