Iraq does will not be a stage for conflict, President Barham Salih says

Iraq will not be a zone of proxy conflicts, President Barham Salih said on Wednesday during a visit to the United Kingdom.

Tensions in the region are escalating after attacks on shipping in the Sea of Oman and the shooting down of a US surveillance drone by Iran amid a standoff between Washington and Tehran.

“Iraq will not be used a staging post for any belligerents,” Mr Salih said in a speech in London’s Chatham House think tank.

The Iraqi leader said the US-Iran tensions were a “danger” for the country. “We do not want to be embroiled in another war on our territory,” he said, adding that the war against terror is not over.

“We need the neighbourhood to come together to consolidate success of territorial defeat of ISIS,” the Iraqi leader stressed.

Mr Salih began his three-day visit to London on Tuesday where he met with Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt.

The Iraqi leader discussed security ties Mrs May in a meeting after his arrival.

Iraq’s President Barham Salih confirmed Iraq’s desire to develop its relations with the UK, indicating the country’s keenness to enhance joint cooperation in all fields.

Salih met Tuesday with the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Jeremy Hunt, in London.

The President indicated the need for coordination and work between the two countries on intensifying efforts on consolidating peace in the region and attaining stability and security in a way that achieves progress and prosperity for countries and peoples.

For his part, Hunt reiterated his country’s support for Iraq at various levels and Britain’s pursuit to strengthen bonds of friendship with it.

He commended Iraq’s pivotal role to the crisis in the region, emphasizing the importance of continued coordination and consultation between the two countries on various issues as well as on the emerging developments in the regional and international arenas.


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