President Salih: It is Time for the Countries of the Region to be Well Aware that Stability of Iraq is a Common Interest

2019/02/04

President Barham Salih affirmed that we are living in a world based on partnership, events and developments.
His Excellency said in a speech during his participation in the events of the Rafidain International Conference on Monday, February 4, 2019: "You are meeting in Baghdad the heart of a region that is burning here and there, and least to say about the regional situation and the relations among the countries of the region are tense and in crisis."
"In the midst of these circumstances and in a sensitive geopolitical position, Iraq stands as it has been waging a war since 2003, which is the fiercest against terrorism, with its two versions, Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and we have paid dearly with our blood," the President emphasized.
His Excellency referred to the need to “end the crises Iraq has suffered for decades through re-building the current political system, reforming it, and restoring citizens 'confidence in the government."
President Salih said: "We have won by the Iraqis' efforts and sacrifices. We have won by the support of the coalition and the international community and by the support of our friends and allies from our neighbors. "
"The military defeat of ISIS and the formation of a new government in Baghdad may represent a turning point not only in Iraq, but perhaps in the entire region," he added.
His Excellency indicated that "Iraq has been the epicenter of change in the Middle East, which is the catalyst and the drive to define or disrupt the parameter of the regional system," stressing that "Iraq, which has emerged from its war on terrorism, deserves to live in safety and have an opportunity to achieve what the Iraqis are looking for."
President Salih added: "We now have the opportunity to reunite the trajectory of building the country towards prosperity and stability by initiating both internal political and economic reforms," noting that reform of the system must be based on the protection of the constitution and the values of the civil state stipulated therein, which includes a commitment to human rights.
The President clarified that the lesson learned is that “the regional system is unstable and tense and the main reason is the absence of Iraq from these regional formula." 
"It is time for the countries of the region to realize that the stability of Iraq is a common interest, and that the defeat terrorism although it has been achieved militarily, but the mission has been accomplished only by eradicating the sanctuaries of terrorism and tackling the shortcomings of the regional system," His Excellency said.
The President added: "We were in a previous period suffering from debates and conflicts that were considered to be ethnic or sectarian. But what we see in Basra and other areas shows that the common denominator in the current situation is the aspiration of the Iraqis to a decent free life and a government that serves the citizens and provides the necessary services to them."
"In these circumstances and within the available means, there is great hope that the new government, headed by Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi, will be able to meet what is demanded within the framework of its government program, and hope that the political forces will do their utmost to achieve this government program," His Excellency confirmed.
President Salih emphasized in his speech: "The internal political and economic reform and the reform of governance require a stable regional environment, and Iraq over the past four decades has been the scene of bloody conflicts."
The President said that during his visit to a number of countries in the region, he proposed a clear plan to "transform Iraq from an arena of conflict to an arena of convergence of interests." He added that the countries of the region should share a vision aimed at achieving economic prosperity and providing job opportunities for unemployed youth in Iraq and in the region in general.
His Excellency asserted that "Iraq is a pivotal state and without an active and serious role in the region the regional system will not be completed," affirming that sovereign Iraq contributes to the stability of the region.
The following is the full text:
In the name of Allah the Merciful
Ladies and Gentlemen
Peace, mercy and blessings of God.
We are pleased to meet you here, and to attend with you part of this important forum in Baghdad, the capital.
We wish you a good time in Baghdad, with fruitful results for your conversations and discussions.
It is my wish that the Forum will help to mature useful views in these circumstances experienced by the region, and we are living in a world based on sharing the changes, events, and developments. As you meet in Baghdad, you meet in the heart of a region that is burning here and there in more than one country that was grinded or still grinding it by rifts, violence and terrorist challenges. And the very least to say about the regional situation and relations among the countries of the region are tense and stressful.
In the midst of these circumstances, and in a sensitive geopolitical position, Iraq stands, and since 2003 has been waging a war that is the fiercest against terrorism in its version of al Qaeda and then ISIS. We have paid by our blood, lost many opportunities for construction and progress, cities have been destroyed, funds and antiques have been looted and, universities and libraries were burned, and we had nothing for us but to win. Thank God we won.
We have won by the efforts of the Iraqis and their sacrifices. We have won by the support of the coalition and the international community and we have won by the support of our friends and allies from our neighbors.
The military defeat of ISIS and the formation of a new government in Baghdad may represent a turning point not only for Iraq but for the region in general.
Iraq has always been the epicenter of change in the Middle East, and Iraq has often been the catalyst and drive to define or disrupt the parameter of the regional system.
I dare say that we now have an opportunity to reunite the trajectory of building in the country towards prosperity and stability, and this will require initiating fundamental internal reforms, both political and economic.
This requires an end to the crises that Iraq has suffered over decades, essentially requiring the reconstruction and reform of the current political system to restore citizens' confidence in the government.
The reform of the system must be based on the protection of the Constitution and the values of the civil state enshrined in the Constitution and ensure the commitment to human rights. Reforming the political system and the country's governance system require real reforms in the country's governance system.
The new government, headed by our brother Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi, has a government program that requires structural economic reforms aimed at making maximum use of Iraq's resources and harnessing these resources to serve the citizens.
We have been in a previous period suffering from debates and conflicts that were considered as an ethnic or sectarian, but certainly what we see in Basra and other areas show that the denominator of the current situation is the aspiration of Iraqis to a free and dignified life, and government serves citizens and provides services to them.


In these circumstances, and within the available potentials, there is great hope that the new government will be able to meet the requirements of its government program and provide these services. In this context, I wish all political forces to do their utmost to achieve this government program. Certainly, this is the commonality among the various political forces.
The internal political and economic reform and the reform of the system of governance require a stable regional environment. We are living in the heart of this region and forces are magnetizing, struggling and sticking together. Iraq over the past four decades has been the scene of bloody conflicts. The Iraqi arena has been the battleground of regional and international powers. Iraq has paid a heavy price of our money and of our lives and opportunities for progress in the country. The lesson learned from the past four decades is that the regional system is an unstable and tense system. The main reason is the absence of Iraq from these regional formula. We have clearly stated that Iraq, which is emerged from the war against terrorism, deserves to live in safety and have the opportunity to achieve what citizens aspire to.
It is time for the region to realize that the stability of Iraq is a common interest, and that the defeat of terrorism has been achieved militarily though, but the mission has not been accomplished. There is a real danger in the reemergence of the remnants of terrorism if its hubs and shortcomings in the regional system are not tackled.
We have visited the region and talked to many leaders in the region and put forward a clear project. We want Iraq to be transformed from an arena of conflict to an arena of convergence of interests.
It is time for this region to share a vision aimed at achieving economic prosperity and providing job opportunities for unemployed youth in Iraq and the whole region.
It is time for this region to share the goal of uprooting terrorism and eradicating it, and not allowing this extremist terrorism and Takfiri to reemerge and violate our country. It will not be easy, but the lesson to be learned from the past is that Iraq is a pivotal state and without an active and serious role in this region, the regional system will not be complete.
Yes, we are well aware that the region is witnessing different visions and conflicts, and there are axes forming in the region. We want to be a bridge among the countries and peoples of the region through economic integration, through achieving the concept of common security and through a common regional vision to deal with regional issues.
Iraq is a pivotal and important country. There are other countries and forces that are very important in this region, but without a regional system based on integration, economic cooperation and common security, this region will not be stable. The axis of this system must be the support of an independent, sovereign Iraq in which interests and visions of the region are converged, and not conflicting in it.
This concludes my speech once again and I wish this audience a useful meeting, and perhaps and may be your dialogues to be useful to address the bottlenecks in the region. 




Presedent

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