Al-Kadhimi sheds light on several issues during his visit to Riyadh
Category: Iraq News
Shafaq News / The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, stressed the importance of an "Arab presence" in Iraq, noting that the Saudi presence "will play a major role in maintaining the stability of Iraq and the region."
In a meeting with reporters during his visit to Saudi Arabia, al-Kadhimi said, "I am completely sure that the Saudi contribution at the economic level, political cooperation, and exchange of views will play a major role in the stability of the region and the stability of Iraq."
He pointed out, "We managed, in a short period, in turning into a country that has excellent relations with Europe, the United States, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia", adding, "Saudi Arabia has a real presence in the Iraqi conscience ... I always remember when Basra hosted a football game with the Saudi team, and the chants of encouragement for the Saudi team."
Regarding trade exchange amid the opening of the Arar border crossing between the two countries, he said that the Kingdom, "has a great experience in terms of investments, agriculture and industry... we hope to have trade exchange with Saudi Arabia."
In another context, al-Kadhimi said, "Unfortunately, whenever someone announces a sectarian position, it gives the impression that this is the reality in Iraq, which not right... Iraq represents a harmonious, tolerant society."
However, regarding the Iraqi situation, Al-Kadhimi shed light on the problem of criminal groups with fugitive weapons posing a real threat, stressing that there are efforts to put an end to outlaw armed groups.
Al-Kadhimi pledged to continue his anti-corruption campaign, pointing out, "since its formation, the government has established an anti-corruption committee, and succeeded in controlling corruption."
Furthermore, the Iraqi Prime Minister said that the drop in oil prices resulted in a real economic crisis, and everyone expected the government's collapse. Then there was the COVID-19 pandemic, "which posed another challenge."
Regarding the strategic dialogue with the US, and the possibility that there will be a complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, al-Kadhimi said that the goal of the strategic dialogue is "to rearrange Iraqi-American relations", indicating, "Iraq has gone through a war against ISIS that has ended, and does not need American combat forces no more. But Iraq is in "dire need" of US intelligence cooperation, its forces need more training and combat skills.
Moreover, the Prime Minister said that the Iraqi-Kurdish relations are, "in golden age now despite all the challenges." He said, "I have known all the Kurdish leaders since the eighties ... I fought with the Kurds, and I have a historical relationship with President Masoud Barzani and the region's Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani, who is my brother. I also have an excellent historical relationship with the President of the Republic, Barham Salih, who is an ally and a friend."
"Iraq is still facing challenges", al-Kadhimi said, noting that the regimes that were previously considered as modern had reached civil wars, in Syria, Libya and Iraq.
Al-Kadhimi pointed out that Iraq has gone through exceptional cases since 1958 until now, a civil war between Iraqis in 1968, the Iraq-Iran war, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and the harsh sanctions that abolished the educated middle class.
"Saddam offended the Islamic religion when he launched a campaign to escape his defeat in the Kuwait War, and turned the national concept into a religious one", he noted.
He pointed out that what happened after 2003 and the loss of confidence resulted in a fragile political system, sectarian warfare, insecurity, and inequality among people, which led to "absurd wars that made Iraqis displaced, refugees or absentees.