Baghdad Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi confirmed: “NATO was a partner in providing support for Iraq’s efforts to defeat the terrorist ISIS.”

Al-Kadhimi said during his meeting with the permanent representatives of NATO countries in Brussels: “Iraq has succeeded in achieving security and stability within its regional and international surroundings.”

He added, “Iraq highly appreciates cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its member states, in order to support the rebuilding of our military institutions and enhance the capabilities of our armed forces and security services in the face of terrorism, and we have a serious desire to develop this joint cooperation.”

He pointed out that, Iraq has suffered from political and security turmoil for more than four decades, the latest of which is the terrorist attack of ISIS organization, whose crimes in the region and the world have not witnessed the likes of mass murder, displacement of civilians and the destruction of cultural landmarks and infrastructure.

He continued, “We appreciate the role played by NATO, as it was a partner in providing support for Iraq’s efforts to defeat the terrorist ISIS organization, and we will certainly not forget the huge sacrifices made by the Iraqi security forces, including the army, the federal police, the anti-terrorist forces, the popular mobilization forces, the Peshmerga, and volunteers from among the tribes in various regions of Iraq.

He stressed: “Iraq was and still is the first line in the war against the terrorist organization ISIS, and this war, regardless of its severity, has earned our security forces significant experience at the regional and international levels, and despite the huge security challenges, our forces managed during the extended periods after defeating the strongholds of the organization by inflicting severe and painful blows to its safe havens, one after the other, we succeeded in dismantling its networks and sleeper cells scattered in different regions of the country.”

He stated: “The progress we have made on the security front prompts us, through the strategic dialogue that we started in 2020 with the International Coalition, to find time and technical mechanisms for withdrawing the coalition’s combat forces, and continuing cooperation in all fields, especially armament, rehabilitation, training, and intelligence support,” adding: We seek to cooperate with NATO countries in sustaining training and working continuously to raise the readiness of our military and security capabilities.”
He expressed his aspiration for NATO countries to continue training, qualifying and equipping our armed forces, supporting military colleges, expanding police training programs and training specialized skills and technicians in various types of air and naval weapons to enable them to confront terrorism, adding: “Through these endeavors, we hope to obtain the necessary expertise to build military institutions in a way that would help raise the level of its professionalism and efficiency, with the need to equip it with the necessary modern and advanced military equipment, hoping to strengthen efforts to reform the security system and to contribute to maintaining Iraq’s security and stability.

He explained, we in Iraq are proud of the religious, sectarian and national diversity of the components of the Iraqi people, and Iraq has succeeded in playing a constructive role in achieving security and stability within its regional and international surroundings. Wars and difficult circumstances have taught us that peaceful solutions are the basis on which we can establish strategic and positive relations, both with neighborhoods, regional countries, and countries of the world.

He called on the member states of the alliance and the international community to use security and military resources in the service of promoting peace and stability, and assigning the delivery of humanitarian aid to areas affected by conflicts and wars, indicating: “crises and wars will not serve international peace and security.”

He said, Our government has sought to present an economic reform paper called the White Paper, which is a comprehensive road map aimed at reforming the Iraqi economy and addressing the serious challenges it faces. Challenges have accumulated before the Iraqi economy over the past years due to wrong policies, mismanagement, corruption and lack of planning in addition to almost total dependence on oil as the main source of state revenue.

He indicated, that the white reform paper aims to restore balance to the Iraqi economy, and put it on a path that allows the state to take appropriate steps in the future to develop it into a diversified economy that creates opportunities for citizens to live a decent life, adding: “Economic reforms cannot be achieved without achieving economic growth, and that Iraq seeking to encourage the international community to enhance investment opportunities in Iraq in a manner that ensures sustainable development that contributes to supporting economic reform.

He referred to the pledge he made at the beginning of his tenure as Prime Minister to hold legislative elections, stressing the commitment and through discussions with all political and popular forces to the necessity of ensuring free and fair elections, adding that we are making all efforts to ensure electoral security through military and security plans that we have been preparing for months, and through exercises and practices carried out by security institutions in preparation for election day, the aim of which is to protect voters, international observers and journalists.

He continued, “The government has adopted the law of the Independent High Electoral Commission, and we have sought to approve a budget for the commission, and we have also welcomed the UN Security Council resolution supporting the elections in Iraq, in addition to the role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq by coordinating the presence of international observers to monitor the elections, and we have directed to overcome all obstacles that may face the voting process and the next stage that follow, and we have set the tenth of next October as the date for holding the elections.”

He added, “The terrorism that destroys mosques, churches and hospitals and kills innocent people in Iraqi cities is the same that strikes the cities of the world, so we must strive to spare Iraq from being an arena for regional conflicts on the one hand or international conflicts on the other.”

He also stressed that the security and stability of Iraq is affected by the security of the region, and that the security of the region can only be achieved by adhering to international resolutions that call on all parties to the conflict to abide by international legitimacy, respect human rights, non-interference in the internal affairs of countries and avoid launching any cross-border aggression for any independent and sovereign country. Pointing in this regard to Iraq’s categorical refusal to use its territory to attack its neighbors.”

He continued, “We renew our thanks and appreciation, and we highly appreciate the stances that support Iraq, its people, its institutions and its democratic experience, and we look forward to continuing cooperation in vital areas, military training and training of the military police in Iraq, in consultation with the Iraqi government.”

He concluded his speech by saying, We appreciate the assistance of the NATO countries to Iraq in supporting construction and reconstruction projects and achieving economic development that requires providing security and stability in a way that ensures experts, technicians and companies start their investments within optimal security conditions, which will therefore serve the security, safety, stability and interests of our peoples looking forward to building, reconstruction, prosperity and progress.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency