Iraq’s foreign minister suggests a regional strategy to address joint security concerns with Neighbours

Dialogue is a form of “joint regional security” that can contribute to alleviating the inflammations in the Middle East, Iraq’s deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, Fuad Hussein, said on Saturday during a panel discussion on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Along with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Minister Hussein participated in a panel discussion named “The Middle East: Meeting Point or Battleground at the World Economic”. The panel was also attended by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg, Jordan’s finance minister Mohammad al-Issis, and Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren.

Emphasizing dialogue, Hussein said his country has continued to play a mediating role despite the many conflicts surrounding it.

“To have regional security, we need to have dialogue. That’s the only way,” he said.

When pressed on Iraq’s tension with neighboring Turkey over Kurdish groups operating in its territory, Hussein said that nearly 50 years of both internal and external wars had prompted Baghdad to choose the diplomatic route.

“The security in Iraq affects the regional security and vice versa,” the minister said, “we need a regional security that deploys dialogue to address tension.”

Iraq has sent Border Guard units to its borders with Turkey in a bid to stop continuous attacks from its neighbors on its territory.

Ankara wage nearly daily cross-border attacks on headquarters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

“The Iraqi government has brought up this joint security challenge on the negotiations table that brings Baghdad, and Ankara together in order discuss this issue and setup a vision to end their presence in line with the Iraqi constitution.”

“Once again, we come back to dialogue — without it, we cannot solve [the issues],” Hussain said.

“For the groups that oppose Turkey, these are internal problems inside Turkey. Part of it they must solve it, but part of it we can deal with it but in cooperation with both countries.”

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