Iraq won’t become base for threats against neighbors, affirms PM Kadhimi

Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi says the summit in Saudi Arabia will not feature discussions about normalization with the Israeli regime while asserting that his country will never become a base for threats against its neighbors.

His remarks came on Friday, a day before the major regional conference kicks off in the Saudi port city of Jeddah with the participation of Persian Gulf Cooperation Council member states, in addition to Egypt and Jordan.

US President Joe Biden, who arrived in Jeddah on Friday, is also expected to attend the high-profile gathering.

The Iraqi government statement said Al-Kadhimi was participating in the summit “to discuss the issues of energy, food security, and environmental challenges, in addition to specifying the steps of cooperation, partnership, and joint coordination regarding these pivotal issues.”

“[I] will discuss with (US President Joe) Biden the issue of the joint strategic agreement in the areas of health and economy,” Al-Kadhimi said on Friday.

He declared that Iraq will not be part of any camp or military alliance.

“Neither today nor tomorrow, Iraq would not belong to any military axis or alliance and will not be a base for threatening any neighboring countries,” he said. “Our motto is Iraq First”.

He said the conference will not discuss the issue of normalization of ties with the Israeli occupation.

Since 2020, the US has brokered normalization agreements under the so-called Abraham Accords between the Israeli regime and some regional countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan.

Palestinians and their supporters have denounced it as a “stab in the back” of the Palestinian cause of liberation from the Israeli occupation and aggression.

Observers believe the agreements would not have been possible without the approval of Saudi Arabia, which has maintained secret ties with Tel Aviv.

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