Iraqi Prime Minister meets the Iraqi community in the US

Iraqi Prime Minister meets the Iraqi community in the US

Shafaq News/ On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani commenced his official visit to the United States by engaging with the Iraqi community in Washington and other American states.

According to Al-Sudani's media office, the prime minister highlighted various issues and stressed Iraq's pivotal role in the region.

Regarding Baghdad's position between Iran and the United States, Al-Sudani said, "Iran is a neighboring country with shared interests, and America is a strategic ally …The relationship between Iraq, Iran, and the United States is advantageous. It can be leveraged to reduce tension, as has occurred in previous regional crises."

On the Global Coalition presence in Iraq, Al-Sudani pointed out that the country has undergone significant changes since 2014 due to the diminished threat of ISIS.

"Following the defeat of ISIS, we seek to shift towards bilateral relationships with members of the Global Coalition, aligning with other regional countries in terms of security relations."

"The inaugural meeting of the founding committee (HMC) outlined in the framework agreement will take place, with regular meetings of this committee scheduled after that."

Last January, a joint Higher Military Commission (HMC) between Iraq and the US-led Coalition in Baghdad was established, and three subcommittees were also formed to discuss the threat of ISIS, the operational environment, and the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces.

HMC is also concerned with reviewing the Coalition's mission after Iraq's victory against ISIS.

In the fight against corruption file, Al-Sudani emphasized that the government considers it a priority.

"The government's first step was to reform oversight institutions, and our measures to combat corruption are professional and not retaliatory."

"We have recovered a lot of money and apprehended individuals wanted in corruption cases who hold other nationalities, and some of the wanted individuals voluntarily surrendered themselves to the judiciary."

He revealed that Washington granted Iraq preferential treatment in customs exemptions, and a "memorandum worth 5 billion dollars has been signed with financial institutions. However, these measures have not yet been activated as part of the Strategic Framework Agreement."

On the energy file, al-Sudani indicated that Iraq had signed contracts with TotalEnergies and efforts in the fifth round and national initiatives, enabling Iraq to achieve gas self-sufficiency within 3-5 years."

"We have initiated projects related to refineries, and by 2024, importing oil derivatives will cease."

Furthermore, the Iraqi PM underscored the importance of the Development Road Project and the Faw Port, which "will create a new Iraq."

"The Development Road is the least costly and fastest project for transporting goods, and the initial principles will be signed during the upcoming visit of the Turkish President," Al-Sudani concluded.

Iraq's "Development Road" initiative, first proposed by Al-Sudani during his diplomatic visit to Ankara a year ago, has emerged as a beacon of strategic importance.

This initiative envisioned as a transformative transportation corridor, garners increased attention as both Iraq and Turkiye seek to bolster regional connectivity and foster economic growth.

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