Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 June 2019

Iraqi prime minister says he will not engage in war mongering

The statement came after a meeting with Kuwait's Emir Sabah Al Ahmed

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi meets with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad. Reuters
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi meets with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad. Reuters

Iraq will not engage in condemnations of and accusations against Iran, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said during a visit with the Emir of Kuwait on Wednesday.

Mr Abdul-Mahdi and Emir Sabah Al Ahmad discussed bilateral relations and co-operation between the two countries, the Iraqi prime minister’s office said.

"Iraq will not engage with policies of condemnations and accusations. We hope that the coming Arab and Islamic conferences will come out with a level-headed conclusion that serves to improve the stability of the region that has suffered from the scourge of war and destruction," he said, accoording to the statement.

Emir Sabah, long known for his mediation experience in the region, urged the region to de-escalate tensions, saying “war is not easy and would harm everyone if it occurred, we hope the mediation efforts of many countries secede in achieving peace and stability”.

He expressed optimism about the ongoing talks and meetings between ministers and officials of the two delegations to serve the interests of the region.

Iraq will send delegations to the US and Iran to help end tensions between the two countries, Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi said Tuesday, adding that Baghdad will remain neutral in the conflict.

He said that both Iranian and US officials have informed Iraq that they have "no desire in fighting a war".

Last week, the US ordered the evacuation of non-essential diplomatic staff from Iraq amid unspecified threats from Iran and rising tensions across the region. The White House has sent warships and bombers to the region to counter the alleged Iranian threats.

Emir Sabah said that the meeting between the two countries signal a new era of “openness” and a willingness from both countries to co-operate on bilateral and regional issues, according to Kuwait News Agency.

Emir Sabah and the Iraqi prime minister also discussed issues concerning reparations to Kuwait over Iraq’s destruction of its neighbour's oilfields and infrastructure during the Gulf War in 1991.

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation claimed $14.7 billion (Dh54 billion) in damages as result of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and their scorched earth retreat, which turned Kuwait’s skies black as Iraqi soldiers set more than 600 oil wells alight. The operation to extinguish the fires took nine months, longer than Iraq’s occupation of its southern neighbour.

"We are in a phase of solving the problems between Iraq and Kuwait and we have come a long way and we have overcome many outstanding issues,” a press release by the prime minister’s office quoted him as saying.

The meeting just days after a rocket slammed into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, landing near the sprawling US Embassy. No injuries were reported and no group immediately claimed the Sunday night attack.

Updated: May 23, 2019 02:49 PM

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