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Al-Kadhimi highlights success in neutralizing armed groups in 'new' Iraq
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 02 - 04 - 2021


Okaz/Saudi Gazette
RIYADH — Saudi Arabia and Iraq have a distinguished relationship and the strong bond is reflected in a number of projects being carried jointly by the two countries, said Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
He specifically pointed out the power grid project and investments in Iraqi agricultural lands close to the Saudi border.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette and a number of other Saudi media outlets after his arrival in the Kingdom on Wednesday, Al-Kadhimi emphasized that the Iraqi government is working to neutralize armed groups, and it has succeeded in this drive.
"The government is working to benefit from the experiences of people by seizing weapons and transferring them to the state, and the government is working to build a new Iraq that shares good relations with its neighbors," he said.
Al-Kadhimi thanked Saudi Arabia for the assistance it provided to his country, especially during the coronavirus pandemic period. He also offered gratitude for the gift from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in the form of a football stadium.
"I am happy to be in a country that has stood with Iraq in the past, and we have seen nothing but all good from it. Saudi Arabia deserves to be a role model, in which I see young faces leading the country, and there are clear signs of development all around, while Iraq has been removing the vestiges of war," he said.
The Iraqi premier welcomed the Middle East Green Initiative, recently launched by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, and supported it.
"Our country will work to cooperate with it, especially since Iraq signed months ago the Paris Agreement regarding the environment, and has energy projects.
As soon as I took over as the prime minister of Iraq, I gave the Saudi government a top priority, as Iraq shares deep cultural, social, and historical bonds with it. We do not feel that there is a difference between the two countries thanks to the long history that binds Iraq with Saudi Arabia through culture and religion," he said.
Al-Kadhimi said that Saudi Arabia has a real presence in the Iraqi conscience, "When the football match took place in Basra between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, we saw how the Saudi team was embraced, and the chants encouraging the Saudi team despite the fact that Basra was accused of being a sectarian city with militias situated on the Iraqi-Iranian border. At that time, I was the head of the intelligence in Iraq, and I played a real role in holding this match, and when the Iraqi team played in Jeddah, we had the same feeling."


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