US Ambassador: The Iraqis do not want a country controlled by militias, and we will not leave the region

US Ambassador: The Iraqis do not want a country controlled by militias, and we will not leave the region

2023-05-16 05:48

US Ambassador - The Iraqis do not want a country controlled by militias and we will not leave the regionShafaq News/ The US Ambassador to Baghdad, Alina Romanowski, said on Tuesday that the Iraqis do not want a country controlled by “militias” and that the United States “will not leave the region, as she indicated that Iraq is of great strategic importance to Washington.

Romanowski added, in an interview with “Sky News Arabia”, seen by Shafaq News Agency, “About a year ago, exactly last July, US President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia, met with leaders of the region, and made it clear that the United States will not leave the region, It considers it of strategic importance, and we have long-standing relations in the fields of politics, economy, culture and education.”

And she continued, “We worked with our partners in the region for a long time in order to face a number of challenges, especially to put an end to the various crises in the region. It is clear, then, that the United States will remain present in the region and will remain interested in deepening its partnerships with its countries, especially with Iraq.”

Disarming the militias

With regard to the situation in Iraq, and the people’s desire for stability, she said: TheE, “When I go out and talk to the Iraqis, it becomes clear to me very clearly that they do not want a state controlled by militias, but rather want to disarm the militias and return them to the state.”

And she stressed that “therefore, whatever the nature of the prime minister’s relationship with these armed groups and factions, the goal must remain focused on ensuring that Iraq enjoys stability and security, and it is a goal entrusted to the prime minister to achieve.”

And she indicated that “this stability will inevitably benefit the United States and the international community. We all cannot bring business and engage on a larger scale if there is no stability and security in Iraq.” And she continued, “All I have to do is look through the windows of our embassy compound building to see the huge size of the buildings that are being constructed… I see that our companies are thriving, and there are many Iraqi businessmen and women who want to see more companies investing in Iraq.”

She said, “Thanks to the stability that Iraq has come to enjoy, Iraqis in the diaspora have begun to return in order to invest and display their arts and works. There is a very positive environment full of opportunities, and this is thanks to the stability that prevails now, and to the security that has become pervading Iraq, especially Baghdad.”

Fighting corruption in Iraq

When asked about the anti-corruption campaign launched by the Iraqi authorities, Romanowski said: “We seek to continue to support Prime Minister Muhammad al-Sudani in his commitment to eradicating corruption and money laundering in Iraq. The steps we have taken and are still with the Central Bank of Iraq and with the rest of the banks here aim to ensure the strengthening of the banking system international in Iraq.

“It also aims to verify that banks have the necessary compliance mechanisms in place to prevent money laundering and dollar smuggling out of Iraq, and to ensure that Iraqi companies feel confident, and that the Iraqi public has confidence that they have a banking system that protects their savings and financial resources.”

“What is required is banks’ respect for international standards, and the exclusion of all malicious actors who might use the international banking system to launder money. This is what the cooperation between the Treasury Ministry and the Iraqi financial system has focused on for a long time.”

Regarding the water crisis in Iraq, the US ambassador to Iraq replied, “This issue is a matter of real concern to the Iraqis and the government. We express our readiness and desire to work with the government and the Iraqi people, to share our best practices with the aim of achieving greater efficiency in the use of water.”

“We urge the Government of Iraq to start a constructive dialogue with neighboring countries, which are the source countries for Iraqi water, in order to try to reach a better understanding on how to share water resources.”

“USAID has been working in Iraq for several years, and we are very proud of the projects we have implemented, such as bringing and maintaining water pumps in areas such as Basra, Nineveh and Anbar, and delivering water to hundreds of thousands of people in areas where our agency has been able to launch projects.”

“This is an area in which we hope to continue working. We have the ability to exchange water experts, as the United States has been affected more than once by droughts, and we have sent a group of Iraqi water experts to some regions of America, where we are looking for innovative ways and the use of new technologies to improve water management and delivery.” .

Iraq and Turkey

The US official touched on the attacks launched by Turkey on the sites of the PKK (some of which are located in Iraq), saying: “We share with Turkey its concern about the attacks launched by the PKK, and we encourage Turkey and Iraq to work together and cooperate in combating terrorism, to restore stability.” places targeted by terrorist attacks.

Fighting ISIS

When asked about ISIS in Iraq and the efforts made to combat it, the US ambassador explained: “We were pleased with the Prime Minister’s assertion that he loves working with the United States, and that he believes that the work we are doing to ensure the defeat of ISIS is still very important. Our efforts will continue until we are sure that all ISIS elements have been defeated, including the remnants.”

“We are confident that we have growing and important relations with Iraq in security issues, and we will continue to work together in this direction.”

“We, along with the Government of Iraq, continue to believe that there are still pockets of ISIS fighters, and this represents an ongoing challenge to the security and stability of the region. We will continue our work as partners to confront this internal threat in Iraq.”

“The United States will continue to work to ensure that ISIS does not remain a threat to the region and the world alike, so I don’t think we are in a position to say that ISIS is finished.”

“We can say, from Iraq and the region in particular, that we have a strong partnership that shares our vision that our work within the framework of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh is still very important. We still hold annual ministerial meetings on this issue, as well as our focus on how to ensure the reintegration of victims relatives of ISIS in their communities and living within them safely.

“Continuous achievements” and US-Iraqi cooperation

Romanowski spoke about the relations that bring her country together with Iraq, saying: “The United States is very committed to the stability and sovereignty of Iraq. Iraq is in a location surrounded by many neighbors, and as a country that has many neighboring countries, including Iran, it has relations with its neighbors, in the economic, political and other fields.” “.

And she stressed that “America focuses mainly on ensuring that Iraq has its sovereignty and that it takes its decisions independently, in a way that serves the interest of not only the government, but also the Iraqi people.”

And she noted, “What we have achieved here after our presence in Iraq 20 years ago is a continuous process. We focus a lot at the present time on the future, whether in our dealings with the prime minister or the government, and on what we can continue to build with the Iraqi people and in partnership with them.”

And she continued, “It is very important for us to consider Iraq as a country of great strategic importance, and is involved in supporting the region’s stability, security, and economic development. From this perspective, I believe that we are on the right path to expand the scope of our relations in accordance with the strategic framework agreement that we negotiated and agreed upon in 2008.”

She pointed out that “during the past few years, due to the Corona pandemic and the security challenges and those related to the stability of Iraq, we have been focusing more on security issues, and today we are in a position that allows us to work with the Sudanese government, to help him achieve the goals of his agenda at the level of strengthening work in the areas of security and the economy.” culture, and contribute to ensuring that Iraq enjoys strong and good relations with its neighbors in the region, especially with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jordan, and other countries.

She stressed that the United States is looking forward to the future, “and we started many discussions in the economy, and we enthusiastically seek to increase our economic and trade cooperation, and we worked to achieve independence in the field of energy in Iraq, and to enhance cultural exchange in which a lot of work awaits us.”

confirmed; “We began identifying new areas of discussion within the framework of the Higher Agreement for Consultative Cooperation in February, when the (Deputy) Prime Minister traveled with his delegation to the United States.”

And she pointed out that “among the new and important areas, not only for Iraq, but also for the United States, the region and the world as well, is working to confront climate change, as the effects of drought, water scarcity and poor air quality are very clear on the government and the people together.”

And she indicated that “for any government to implement its vision, there must be stability and security. Of course, progress and work can be done to strengthen our relations after Iraq became enjoying the stability that the Iraqi people sought.”