President Barham Salih: "International solidarity needed in face of ongoing war on terror"


On November 19, 2020, the President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih, met with the United Kingdom’s Senior Defense Advisor for the Middle East and North Africa, Lieutenant-General Sir John Lorimer, and United Kingdom's Ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, in Baghdad.

During the meeting, the relationship between the United Kingdom and Iraq was discussed. The importance of working to strengthen that relationship at every level was stressed. This includes cooperation between the two militaries, in terms of training and arming Iraqi security forces and in terms of ongoing cooperation between Iraq and the United Kingdom in the fight against terrorism. 

President Salih said that the war on terror was ongoing and that there is a need for international solidarity in the face of terrorist organizations that present both a national and international threat.

President Salih said that although Iraqi security forces of every kind had managed to defeat the extremist group known as the Islamic State (IS), some remaining cells of this group continued to threaten Iraqi citizens' lives and the safety and stability of their towns. Iraqi security services were coordinating with the international coalition and continuing to pursue these terrorists to prevent them from achieving their goals, the Iraqi president noted. 

President Salih also emphasized the importance of reducing tensions in the region. This is because extremist and terrorist organizations will exploit any crises in the region to achieve their objectives, he said. 

Iraq could be a hub of security and stability in the region if its sovereignty were respected, President Salih continued. Iraq refuses to be the arena for other struggles, he added, noting that there was an urgent need to promote development opportunities, and thereby Iraqi prosperity, through joint actions too. 

British adviser Sir John Lorimer confirmed his support for President Salih's proposals. He also emphasized the importance of ongoing cooperation between Iraq and the United Kingdom, in order to fight terrorism. He also affirmed the United Kingdom's ongoing support of Iraqi security forces in terms of training and arming them, in order to contribute to lasting security and stability in Iraq.