Iraq’s Prime Minister appeals for global aid to help national reconciliation
The Prime Minister of Iraq today appealed to national leaders meeting for the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate to help the country as it embarks on a road toward national reconciliation, which he stressed is essential for the stability of the region and the world.
“We are steadfast and determined to exterminate terrorism in Iraq so that it does not spread around the countries of the world,” said Nuri Kamel Al-Maliki, calling on other States to support this effort.
Having paid such a high price for its freedoms, Iraq “will not retreat from its democratic choice,” he said. “This position necessitates the support and cooperation from the world’s nations, so that Iraq can build a modern State that guarantees justice, equality and a respect for religious, intellectual, sectarian and ethnic pluralism.”
Emphasizing the importance of national reconciliation, Mr. Al-Maliki said it “is our strategic choice that has saved our country from slipping into the pit of a sectarian war.”
Iraq’s priority now, he said, is establishing sovereignty over the land. “We have come a long way in training and equipping our armed forces in order to take over the security responsibilities from the multinational forces,” he said.
At the same time, the Iraqi Prime Minister warned neighbouring States than any destabilization was likely to spread. “We cautioned all countries in the region that continued overflow of weapons, money, suicide bombers and the spreading of ‘fatwas’ inciting hatred and murder will only result in disastrous consequences for the peoples of the region and the world.”
A stable Iraq, he stressed, “will be a guarantee for stability and security in the region.”
Mr. Al-Maliki underscored Iraq’s desire to rejoin the international community, pointing to recent evidence of the country’s stepped-up involvement with the United Nations, including through chairmanship of the General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee.
The UN resolutions that were adopted following the previous regime’s invasion of Kuwait “inflicted great harm upon the infrastructure, service sector, health and education systems” in Iraq, he said.
“Our people look up to the international community for help to alleviate and lift the burdens of the destruction as well as relieve the people from the heavy bills of debt and compensation.”
He also voiced hope that the United Nations would mobilize its activities in Iraq. “That will contribute to encouraging the international community’s openness towards intensifying their role in the areas of building, construction, development, supporting national reconciliation and the democratic experience.”