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Fouad Ma’soum: Balkanization of Iraq is Impossible/ the Importance of Iran’s Help to Fight ISIS

Mehr News Agency carried out a written interview with the president of Iraq, Fouad Ma’soum of which outlines follow:

In the response to the first question relating to the cooperation between Iran and Iraq, regarding their competition in OPEC, Fouad Ma’soum said: the relations between Iran and Iraq has during past years gone past convergence and reached a common action which is the founder of strong relations accordance with constructive agreement and cooperation between two countries. He added: oil policy of Iran and Iraq as two members of OPEC has to be obedient of taken decisions according to this organization. Iraq tries the unity of members of OPEC and agreement as the main discipline in the organization operation.

 

Fouad Ma’soum, in a response to a question about Iraqi government’s look toward security arrangement and the role of transregional countries like America and England in this arrangement, said: the policy of Iraq is accordance with peaceful coexistence and its priority is security and healthy in a convergent regional environment in order to improve and peace. All the regional countries have the right to create their international strategic relations with whether America, England, European countries, Russia or China according to what they wish to. However what is important for us as neighboring countries desiring to meet coexistence principle is not to enter those coalitions which tend to balkanize the region and no to use the our strategic relations with great countries in the field of offending and causing insecurity among neighboring countries in the region.

 

Pointing the existence of intelligence center in Baghdad shared with Iran, Russia, Syria and Iraq, Mehr News Agency, relating to develop these cooperation and possibility for Iraq to demand Moscow in order to raise airstrikes from Syria to Iraq, asked Fouad Ma-soum. He replied that there is the possibility to cooperate with these countries. We are totally prepared to constructively cooperate to destroy terrorism getting a universal threat that we all are suffering; this treat is not limited just to a country or region. Humanity responsibility makes such cooperation occurs. Intelligence cooperation and synchronization among given countries have occurred and are ongoing and this is vital. But I do not believe that in present conditions Baghdad like Syria will ask Russia to attack ISIS in Iraq.

 

Concerning balancing policy in foreign policy of Iraq, among countries supporting terrorism and its opponents, Ma’soum said: this principle is true and we follow it. Many countries gradually understand the effect of this has opted by Iraq even at different times. Our relations with Saudi Arabia are developing but slowly. To slowly develop is better than nothing. Saudi Arabia has offered a $ 500 million help to Iraq; we came to an agreement to develop bilateral relations in our recent trip to Riyadh when visiting the Saudi king. In addition there has been a proper space to exchange information about terrorists’ movements between interior secretaries of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

 

About balkanization of Iraq, cited by some America like Joe Biden, the president said: this is untrue and unreal. Never have such issue put in any meeting, conference or negotiations. We have not heard such talking from any sides; they are just media uproar. Furthermore relating to National Guard of Iraq and its effect on the army Ma’soum was asked and he replied: it was put accordance with the agreement among political fractions as current government got formed and it related general commander of armed forces of Iraq so called the P.M. the job of national guard of Iraq covers all over the country, not special regions. He also, about the role of public forces of Iraq fighting against Takfirists, said: volunteer public forces have been organized to fight ISIS in Iraq and as it is known this occurred by Ayatollah Sistani’s judgment after ISIS’s sudden attack to Iraq and Mosul’s fall. The purpose of formation of these forces was to defend Baghdad and other cities of Iraq; therefore public forces along with armed forces, Peshmerga and volunteers have patriotic mission to fight ISIS in the direction of defending Iraq and freeing tons and countries occupied. It is not possible to discard public forces for fighting ISIS since they are carrying out a national role they have been assigned.  

 

 

 

Prime Minister Barzani and Al-Shahristani discuss the situation in Iraq

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received Hussain al-Shahristani, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Federal Government of Iraq.

The two sides discussed the current political, military and security situation in Iraq, as well as the economic and financial situation in the country. They also discussed the relations between Erbil and Baghdad, and ways to address the outstanding problems.

In the meeting, which was also attended by Dr Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff of Kurdistan Region President, Prime Minister Barzani briefed the Iraqi Minister about the war against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS, in the Kurdistan Region and the progress made by Peshmerga forces.

Prime Minister Barzani also talked in details about the economic situation and the financial crisis and its repercussions in the Kurdistan Region.

Mr. Hussain al-Shahristani visited Kurdistan Region, representing the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Haider al-Abadi, to attend the consecration ceremony of His Holiness Patriarch Gewargis Sliwa, the new Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, which was held in Saint Yohana Church in Ainkawa district of Erbil.

KRP Welcomes Baghdad's Reform Decisions

Through a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Kurdistan Region Presidency, the KRP welcomes the new attempts at reform in the institutions of the Iraqi government.

The statement also added that the Kurdistan Region will continue to support such efforts by the Council of Ministers in Baghdad provided that the efforts are mindful of the participation of the Kurdistan Region. The statement concluded by stating that the decisions regarding the reform process ought to be within the framework of the Constitution.

The United Kingdom supports settlement of differences between Erbil and Baghdad

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krg) - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received Ambassador Frank Baker, United Kingdom ambassador to Iraq and his accompanying delegation.

Ambassador Baker highlighted bilateral relations between Kurdistan Region and United Kingdom in all the fields, particularly the commercial and economic areas.

The two sides discussed the situation in Iraq in general and the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS, in particular.
Ambassador Baker reiterated UK support for the Peshmerga Forces in the war against terrorism, praising their role and that of the people and government of Kurdistan Region in confronting and repulsing the terrorist threat.

He also pointed to the differences between Kurdistan Region and Iraqi Federal Government, as well as the Region’s internal issues, particularly the Kurdistan Region Presidency Law, stressing the need for solving those issues through dialog, common understanding, and consensus.

Ambassador Baker expressed his support and collaboration for the settlement of these issues.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the UK delegation for the visit, expressing his hope that bilateral relations between Kurdistan Region and United Kingdom will witness further development in all the fields.

He highlighted the continuous victories marked by the Peshmerga Forces in the war against ISIS. Meantime, he called for further military aid for Peshmerga forces from European countries, particularly the United Kingdom.

Regarding the differences with the Iraqi Federal Government, Prime Minister Barzani reiterated that Kurdistan Regional Government aims to solve the issues through dialog and negotiations.

Regarding the issue of the Kurdistan Region Presidency Law, he reiterated that it should be settled on the basis of consensus and mutual understanding, and that all the political sides should reach an outcome that is in the general interests of the Kurdistan Region.

The United Nations supports dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Ján Kubiš and his accompanying delegation.

In the meeting, which was also attended by Quad Talabani, Kurdistan Region Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Kubiš expressed his satisfaction for the level of cooperation and coordination between the Kurdistan Regional Government institutions and United Nations agencies, and thanked the KRG for the assistance it has so far offered to refugees and internally displaced persons who fled violent repression of the Islamic State terrorist organisation and took refuge in the Kurdistan Region.

Mr. Kubiš also stressed that the United Nations supports KRG's efforts in settling its differences with Baghdad through dialogue, pointing out that they are willing to help the Kurdistan Region in this regard. He reiterated the need for all the parties to commit to the agreement reached between the two sides.

Prime Minister Barzani briefed the UN envoy about the latest developments in the relations between the KRG and Federal Government of Iraq, pointing out that the differences between the two sides, which have been going on since last year, have still not been addressed. Hence the Kurdistan Regional Government has been forced to take other measures to address its own urgent problems, particularly financial ones, occurred as the result of non-abidance of Baghdad by its agreement with the Erbil.

Meantime, Prime Minister Barzani reiterated that the KRG supports dialogue and talks with Baghdad in order to come up with appropriate solutions in the interest of the two sides. He commended the role played by the United Nations in this regard.

PM Barzani and UN Special Representative discuss Baghdad-Kurdistan Region agreement

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister yesterday received United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Ján Kubiš and his accompanying delegation.

The meeting focused on the agreement, signed last December, between Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG, and the Federal Government of Iraq on oil export and budget, as well as Iraq’s 2015 Budget Law. It highlighted Kurdistan Region’s commitment to the agreement.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his concern for the fact that the Federal Government of Iraq has not been honouring its commitment to the agreement with Kurdistan Region.

He pointed out that the agreement was reached following appeal and support from United Nations, United States and United Kingdom. He urged the three sides to play their role and urge Baghdad to meet its obligations under the agreement and the Budget Law.

In another part of the meeting, the two sides emphasised on further cooperation between United Nation agencies and Kurdistan Regional Government, particularly in dealing with possible increase in numbers of internally displaced people.

They reaffirmed the necessity of further commitment of the international community in assisting Kurdistan Region relevant institutions and United Nations agencies, particularly those which work in humanitarian fields.

The two sides also discussed the latest developments in Iraq, the situation in Anbar Province, and the security situation in the region in general. 

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