Iraqi PM praises Peshmerga-Iraqi army cooperation in fight against ISIS

Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi speaking at the Sulaimaniya Forum in Iraqi Kurdistan on March 8, 2017. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Wednesday during the Sulaimani Forum praised the cooperation between the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces against ISIS, and said it shows differences can be overcome.

The Iraqi PM Abadi opened the Sulaimani forum organized by the American University of Sulimani in Iraqi Kurdistan. “This is the success and progress, despite of the difficulties at one level. We working on one army for all, the unification of the Iraqi army, one national army. We cannot have security forces for one party, or belonging to one party or sect,” he said.

Abide said that in the past even the roads between Baghdad and Kurdistan were cut off, and that there were tensions and clashes between the Kurds and Iraqi forces. “But we are now more united [after ISIS came]. We have Peshmergas and Iraqi army fight together, instead of talking about disputed territories negatively, we can convert them those to territories agreed upon together and rule them jointly together,” he said.

Moreover, he called for a decentralized government, with the central government only assisting other provinces, unlike in the past.

“The people of Mosul should rule Mosul, the people of Erbil should rule Erbil, and Basra should rule Basra, and the federal government should assist them,” he added, emphasizing that the Iraqi government should not rule by fear, but by inclusivity.

The Iraqi PM said there is no such thing as good dictatorship and that they don’t want to return to it. “We have seen the oppression of Baath, and severity of Baath,” he said.

Abadi also said that he was not thinking of the upcoming elections scheduled for April 2017, or joining a particular political alliance, after there were rumours Abadi would create his own party to run for the new elections. “I am too busy running a state,” he said.

However, he did add that he thought it wasn’t a good idea to postpone the elections, both the provincial and general elections. “We are trying to prepare the environment for holding elections on time,” he said

The Prime Minister also criticized the Iraqi parliament and politicians that voted the Iraqi defence minister and financial minister out of office last year, and said this was an attempt to undermine Abadi.

“What was the logic of parliament removing the Finance, Interior, and Defense Ministers and putting all the burden on me?” he asked.

Furthermore, he said that Iraqis in all of Iraq are asking for political reform. “Our people do not want a divided country based on religion, sect or trade, look at the slogans from the people in Basra or Erbil,” he concluded.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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