Al-Sudani anticipates his visit to the White House with a “press article”: Iraq first and will not enter into the “Iran-America conflict”

Al-Sudani anticipates his visit to the White House with a “press article”: Iraq first and will not enter into the “Iran-America conflict”

2024-04-12 11:29

Al-Sudani anticipates his visit to the White House with a press article - Iraq first and will not enter into the Iran-America conflictShafaq News/ Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, in an article published in the American magazine “Foreign Policy”, on the eve of the start of his first-ever visit to the White House, presented his vision of the nature of the new partnership that he wants with the United States, speaking about the path that leads to sustainable cooperation. Between Baghdad and Washington.

Al-Sudani wrote in the article, “Two decades ago, the United States helped the Iraqi people overthrow the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and lay the foundations for a democratic system, which helped the Iraqis taste freedom for the first time, eliminating the oppression and misuse of resources that had caused problems.” Not only for my country, but also for the wider region.”

Al-Sudani said in his article published by the American magazine and translated by Shafaq News Agency, “Since then, US-Iraqi relations have gone through stages of ups and downs, and stages of engagement and disengagement, where the positions were close at times and tense at other times.”

He added, “All along, there has been a common understanding between the leaders of the two countries that our relationship will remain a strategic priority, supported by common interest and cooperative efforts in order to overcome difficulties,” explaining, “We defeated terrorism together, and security cooperation has allowed us to rebuild the Iraqi army and effective security forces.” .

The Iraqi Prime Minister considered, “We need to renew our strategic partnership by moving it to a new stage, a stage that supports Iraq’s sovereignty and independence, but without abandoning the fruitful cooperation between Baghdad and Washington.”

He added, “In late January, we formed the Supreme Military Committee, composed of senior military officials from both the United States and Iraq, in order to assess the continuing threat posed by the so-called ISIS organization, the capabilities of the Iraqi security services, and operational conditions throughout Country”.

He continued, “This effort led to an agreement between all parties to end the international coalition in a gradual and organized manner according to an agreed upon timetable,” recalling that the coalition was formed in 2014 to fight ISIS, and includes 86 countries, led by the United States and at the invitation of Iraq.

He added that in order to move forward, “the Supreme Military Committee will develop a road map for future relations, including the presence of American advisors,” noting that these steps, which “contrary to the decline in our relationship with the United States, will allow us to move to a new phase of partnership, despite “The basis for cooperation that goes beyond mere security and military affairs.”

Al-Sudani stressed that “the relationship between the United States and Iraq represents an essential element for stability in the Middle East, in addition to the well-being of the peoples of the region,” adding that “during recent years, tensions between our two countries have emerged from time to time, as a result of the conflict with the armed groups that were present in Iraq.” Over the past two decades, he pointed out that these groups emerged from the complex circumstances that Iraq faced while confronting terrorism, but gradually, and with the restoration of security and stability, the need for weapons outside the control of the state and its institutions will disappear, and we are working to achieve this goal.

But Al-Sudani said, “Iraq has a long road ahead full of challenges, and my government is aware of its sensitive position and the delicate balance that it must maintain between the United States and the groups that sometimes enter into direct confrontation with American forces. However, our vision of this situation is clear: We reject attacks on interests.” “At the same time, we need time to manage the internal complexities and reach political understandings with the various parties.”

Al-Sudani stressed that “the decision on war and peace must be a private matter for the state, and no other party can claim this right.”

He continued, saying, “Through the help of its friends, especially the United States, Iraq was able to defeat the most brutal terrorist organization in modern history. Currently, only small groups of ISIS remain; our security forces are pursuing them across the desert, mountains, and caves, but they no longer represent a threat to the state.” “.

He pointed out that this “has greatly enhanced the experience of our security forces, placing them among the best armies in combating terrorism. It is time to turn the page and redirect our resources and capabilities from waging wars towards promoting development.”

The Iraqi Prime Minister believed that “the final victory over terrorism cannot be achieved without real development, including securing a decent level of health care, education, and other basic services, and this is the goal of the program that my government prepared and is determined to implement: pushing forward economic and financial reforms.” “Promoting human rights, empowering women, and strengthening the principles of freedom and democracy in general.”

He added that it is also important to “fight corruption, which is the other side of terrorism, as its impact is no less devastating, and to work to ensure that the people’s money is directed towards valuable goals,” noting that “we must also work to diversify our economy away from dependence on Oil, even while we benefit from our position as the second largest oil exporter in OPEC (in addition to our possession of significant natural gas reserves).”

He continued, saying, “In order to achieve this goal, we are working to develop cross-border projects (such as industrial zones with neighboring countries) and a development road, which works to connect the Gulf region with Turkey and Europe.”

In addition, Al-Sudani said in his article, “We currently have an opportunity to transform the relationship between Iraq and the United States from a unilateral relationship to a comprehensive relationship. The time has come to activate all the provisions of the strategic framework agreement signed in 2008 between Iraq and the United States,” noting that this agreement extends to what is “Beyond just security and military affairs, which have dominated the relationship for most of the past two decades, it includes conditions for cooperation in areas such as the economy, investment, energy, climate, agriculture, industry, technology and education.”

He added, “The Iraqi and American people, given their collective sacrifices, deserve to see continued benefits from this partnership,” adding that “the current stability in Iraq should be encouraging for American companies to engage in important development projects in the fields of energy, communications, housing, health care, education, transportation, and others.” “.

Al-Sudani said, “Our urgent need for American expertise and technology extends to clean energy and the green economy, as we seek to develop sustainable and renewable sectors,” adding that “the strategic framework agreement established the legal basis for these activities, and that by investing in them, it will enable us to put Iraq in a position that helps it.” To strengthen its democracy, strengthen the state, and strengthen the rule of law, which are the pillars that will allow us to restore Iraq to its historical brilliance.”

Iraq first

Al-Sudani said in the article, “The guiding principle of our foreign relations is Iraq first, which means building strong partnerships based on common interests with friendly countries in the region and beyond. This principle also means that we deal with every country equally, so that Iraq does not turn into an arena.” To settle the accounts of any third party.

Al-Sudani stressed that “Iraq must be dealt with on the basis of sovereignty and mutual respect, and not as an agent for other conflicts.”

Al-Sudani added that for this reason also, “we seek to restore Iraq’s central role in the Middle East, taking advantage of our strategic location,” expressing “welcome the opportunity to work with the United States to defuse crises and reduce tensions in the Middle East.”

But Al-Sudani said, “We are determined to avoid falling into a conflict between two of our partners, i.e. Iran and the United States, and we consider that a comprehensive calm in the Middle East is in the interest of Iraq and the United States, which requires, above all, an urgent end to the war in the Gaza Strip.” And respect for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

Al-Sudani continued, “When I visit Washington and meet with President Joe Biden on April 15, there will be an opportunity to put the American-Iraqi partnership on a new and more sustainable basis, and our discussions will emphasize the continuing importance of our economic relations, cooperation in combating money laundering and terrorist financing, and the use of political tools.” “Diplomacy to defuse regional tensions, while the fight against terrorism will remain a central issue for our two governments.”

The Iraqi Prime Minister concluded in his article in “Foreign Policy” by saying, “We recognize and appreciate the decisive role played by the United States and other members of the international coalition to fight ISIS, in defeating terrorism, a support that helped Iraq achieve stability and make great strides on the path to democracy and the rule of law.” “And ensuring the government’s monopoly on the use of force.”

He continued, saying, “However, we believe that the time has come for our relationship to become more extensive, while recognizing the growing capabilities of our forces to defend Iraq and ensure the safety of its citizens, and to contribute in essential ways to establishing a prosperous and stable Iraq.”

He concluded by saying, “Our partnership, in its new form, can represent a source of mutual interest for both our countries and a force that pushes towards achieving stability in the Middle East.”