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Iran’s new FM reaffirms need for sustainable regional security at Baghdad Intl. Conference ‘For Cooperation and Participation’

Iran's new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian attends the Baghdad summit aimed at easing tensions on August 28, 2021. 

Iran’s new foreign minister has reaffirmed the need for sustainable regional security with the participation of the countries of the region, stressing there will be no security as long as foreign countries interfered in the Middle East.   

“What we need more than ever today is ‘sustainable regional security’ with the participation of the countries of the region,” which can materialize through using economic resources towards promoting peace and development, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Saturday.

He made the remarks while addressing the Baghdad International Conference "For Cooperation and Participation" aimed at easing tensions in the region.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always underlined the need for the realization of peace through regional dialogue and negotiation, and hopes that the countries of the region will reach the joint understanding that security will be achieved only through mutual trust, reliance on national capabilities, strengthening relations and good neighborliness as well as non-interference of foreign countries,” he added.

Amir-Abdollahian praised Iraq’s efforts to contribute to regional cooperation, including hosting the Baghdad summit, and pledged Iran’s support for its neighbor to that goal.   

The photo taken on August 28, 2021 shows participants at the Baghdad International Conference "For Cooperation and Participation".

The Islamic Republic of Iran, while supporting the stability, security, independence, territorial integrity, dignity, authority and promotion of the regional and international position of Iraq, voices its readiness to develop Tehran-Bagdad bilateral and regional cooperation, he said.

While praising resistance of the Iraqi people, government and religious leaders in combating terrorist groups, including Daesh, the Iranian foreign minister hit out at the US for fomenting insecurity in the region and assassinating two top anti-terrorism commanders, namely Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis last year.

He also voiced Iran’s support for the Iraqi government and people and the Arab country’s decision on withdrawal of foreign troops and holding early elections.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran once again welcomes the constructive role of this country in promoting the culture of dialogue and regional cooperation and regards cooperation within the region as the basis for achieving stability and peace in this direction,” he noted

Emphasizing the important role of the countries in the region, Amir-Abdollahian concluded his remarks by reaffirming the Islamic Republic of Iran’s readiness to advance the goal of promoting regional dialogue and cooperation.

Iraq opened the Baghdad conference aimed at easing tensions in the region, with the participation of heads and officials of regional countries, including Iran and representatives from other countries.

Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Baghdad on Saturday at the head of a delegation to attend the high-level meeting.

This is Amir-Abdollahian's first visit to Iraq as the Iranian foreign minister since he was approved for the post in the administration of Iran's new President Ebrahim Raeisi. 

Before leaving for Baghdad, Amir-Abdollahian said, “We welcome any regional initiative by the authorities of the Republic of Iraq which would involve the participation of the peoples of the region.”

Iraq has also invited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey to the summit, which is co-organized by France.

The Iranian foreign minister said before the summit that Syria, as an important neighbor of Iraq, should have been invited to the summit as well.

“Of course, we are in contact and consultation with the Syrian leadership regarding security and sustainable development in the region, and we will consult directly with Damascus about the Baghdad summit and the emphasis on the important role of the countries in the region in any regional initiative,” he added.

The high-level meeting is expected to discuss a host of issues, including the war in Yemen and the severe economic and political situation in Lebanon.

Iran-Saudi détente is another issue expected to be discussed in the summit as Iraq has already hosted several rounds of direct talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran in recent months on mending ties severed in 2016.

Iran’s new president has reaffirmed the country’s policy to promote ties with neighbors and regional countries and has made dialogue with neighbors one of his administration’s priorities.

Last month, Raeisi said Iran believes that there is no obstacle to reopening embassies in Tehran and Riyadh.

“This policy has been announced before and I reiterate that there is no impediment to the [establishment of] relations with Saudi Arabia and all the countries in the region,” Raeisi said on June 21 during his first press conference after his victory in the election.

Iraq PM: Positive approaches can enhance regional security

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said the summit represents "a new impetus" for Iraq in consolidating its foreign relations with the countries of the region and the world.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi speaks at the Baghdad summit on August 28, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

"Iraq faced great challenges, but took great steps with the help of its brothers and neighbors… this conference expresses Iraq's desire to develop relations with countries and give priority to the language of dialogue and non-interference in the affairs of others,” he added.

He said commonalities in the region are more than differences, and positive approaches can enhance security in the region and, consequently, around the world.

On the fight against terrorism, the premier said “the people of Iraq defeated the most powerful terrorist organization, Daesh, and this victory was achieved in cooperation with friends and neighbors.”

He said that the Iraqis fought their just war on behalf of the whole world, but warned that “terrorism is still trying to find a foothold.

“But we will eliminate all these attempts,” he stressed, while adding that his country will not be a used as place for attacking neighboring countries.

He also invited major companies to contribute to his country’s reconstruction.

Other participants at the summit also underscored the need for Iraq’s security and stability, IRNA reported.

Jordan supports anti-extremism fight

Abdullah King II of Jordan, who attended the summit, said that he supports Iraq's efforts to fight extremism, terrorism and reconstruction in the country.

He said Iraq is playing a key role in expanding regional and international dialogue.

Qatar supports goals of Iraqi people

The emir of Qatar said his country supports all efforts to create security and stability in Iraq.

He also stressed that his country supports the Iraqi people to achieve their goals.

Egypt opposes interference in Iraq’s affairs

The Egyptian president said the Iraq summit as an opportunity to exchange views, consult and deal with regional crises.

"We are confident that Iraq will succeed in holding the next elections," Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said.

He also supported Iraq in its path towards restoration of stability, protection of its territorial integrity and revival of its role in the region.

He also stressed that his country opposes any interference in the affairs of Iraq.

Kuwait: We do not interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Hamad Al Sabah, who traveled to Iraq on behalf of the emir, said his country would never interfere in Iraq's internal affairs.

He said Iraq is facing a crucial stage as it prepares for the upcoming October general election.

‘Turkey ready to help rebuild Iraq’

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed at the summit that his country was ready to help rebuild Iraq through the implementation of vital and infrastructure projects, saying Iraq should not be a field for competition but a field for participation.

Terrorism has no place in the future of Iraq, he said, adding, “We are ready to support Iraq in the fight against terrorism and back Iraqi institutions.”

"We oppose the existence of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq," said Cavusoglu, who supported the holding of Iraqi parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said his country supports Iraq's stability and territorial integrity and is committed to its security, stability and development, according to IRNA.

He said that Saudi diplomacy is based on supporting peace, preventing tensions and establishing dialogue in the region.

Farhan claimed his country is working with Iraq and other countries in the region to fight extremism and terrorism.

This is while Riyadh has been leading a devastating war against Yemen since March 2015, with the support of its regional allies.

Final communiqué calls for regional countries’ interaction in face of common challenges

In a final communiqué issued at the end of the summit, the participants praised Iraq’s to hold the meeting, and said that they would stand by the Iraqi government and people.

They also stressed the need for coordinated regional and international efforts in a way that would contribute to regional stability.

The participants said that the region faces common challenges that require the interaction of the countries of the region based on participation, cooperation, common security and mutual interests.


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