Iraq calls for regional cooperation against terrorism

Baghdad, Dec 28 (IANS) Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Sunday called for cooperation among nations of the region to defeat terrorism.

A statement in this regard was issued by Abadi’s office after he met Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, who is on an official visit to Baghdad, Xinhua reported.
“Boosting cooperation on the basis of common interests among the regional countries would be a source of strength for all (against) the threat of terrorism and extremism,” Abadi said.
Al-Sabah, on his part, said Iraq was an “important pillar of stability in the region and we have a true desire and sincere intention of coordination and cooperation to overcome all challenges”.
Al-Sabah, who is also Kuwait’s foreign minister and state minister for cabinet affairs, also met Iraqi President Fuad Masoum before he attended a meeting of the joint committee between the delegations of the two countries to discuss the pending issues between them.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari appreciated Kuwait’s stance in supporting Iraq, as the country is fighting the Islamic State (IS) militants, who have seized swathes of territories in the predominantly Sunni provinces.
“Kuwait has supported Iraq and participated in strengthening its security forces. It (has) always supported Iraq in all fields…,” Jaafari said.
The Kuwaiti side stressed that the country was “standing shoulder to shoulder with our brothers in Iraq in their efforts to face these sinful terrorist attacks”.
Kuwait, a close ally of the US, has been making progress in mending ties with Iraq since 1990, when former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had invaded his southern neighbour and set off the first Gulf war.
The thaw in relations between the two countries has picked up momentum since 2012, reflecting their political will to end differences.
The Kuwaiti deputy prime minister’s visit came a week after the Iraqi premier’s official visit to Kuwait, which also came just a few days after Kuwait responded positively to Iraq’s request to postpone the last payment of the war reparation due to financial difficulties, as Iraq faces threat from the IS and plummeting oil prices in world markets.
Iraq continues to pay off billions of dollars of war reparations to Kuwait, which is expected to be complete by 2016.