President, In an Opinion Article, Emphasizes: Iraq Is Committed to Mideast Stability, We’re Inviting our Neighbors to Convene in Baghdad

President Barham Salih asserted that his message during his participation in the work of the United Nations General Assembly, stresses that "Iraq has no intention of being dragged into regional conflicts. Iraq intends to protect its own interests and will not allow itself to be used as a base to attack its neighbors or as a battleground for their proxies."
In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, on Monday September 23, 2019, His Excellency noted “It is in our interest to act as a stabilizing force and use our key strategic position and good relations with our neighbors to eradicate extremism. Iraq seeks to be a force for stability, and a bridge for economic integration in the Middle East.”
“Iraq intends to invite its neighbors to convene in Baghdad for a conversation starting with the imperative of supporting Iraq’s stability and economic regeneration,” the President stated. “We will work diligently to identify areas for immediate collaborative actions and to chart a road map for a more coherent regional alliance,” he added.
His Excellency said that the attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia and the harrowing conflicts in Yemen and Syria are cause for alarm for the Middle East and the rest nations of the world.
“No country better understands the ravages of wars, sanctions, violence and infighting. No population is more familiar with the human and material costs that aggressive and myopic policies can impose on ordinary citizens. No country craves stability and security more than Iraq does,” he stated.
“Iraq stands on the threshold of a new era. The defeat of Islamic State showed what Iraqis can achieve when everyone, regardless of ethnicity or creed, rallies around a common cause, and works with international allies,” he said.
The President noted “But our victory remains fragile, and our hardest tasks are ahead. We need to provide job opportunities and the education and training to build a modern workforce, to deliver better services, to rehabilitate and expand our infrastructure, to reform our bloated public sector and strengthen our institutions, to wean ourselves away from dependence on oil by creating a vibrant private sector, to tackle corruption, to create the regulatory and legal frameworks to attract foreign investors.”
“These are the mammoth tasks facing the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who shares my zeal for reform. Iraq has reached out to our neighbors and to the international community for financial and technical assistance. But our ambitions are prey to regional politics, and they may be dashed if our neighbors and our allies are at loggerheads”, he said.
“Iraq is introducing landmark legislation to establish a Reconstruction Commission, with the aim of encouraging private companies and foreign investors to form partnerships with the government on large-scale infrastructure projects. While domestic development is the initial target, this initiative could form the basis for cross-border, regional initiatives that will create a common interest among local states and encourage common economic growth and job creation,” the President noted.
“Our own bitter experience with Islamic State taught us Iraqis that more binds us together than keeps us apart. We have shared dreams and a mutual interest in cooperating to achieve them,” the President clarified.
His Excellency concluded by saying, “That’s a lesson for our neighbors and allies as well. Prosperity depends on building bridges, not slamming doors. For our own selfish reasons, we intend to take the lead. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations. Our hopes, and our future, depend on persuading others to follow.”