3 hours ago
The head of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Mohammed Halbusi said that the proposals made by some parliamentary blocs to submit a bill calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, has been finalized.
He said in an interview with the Middle East in the building of the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, that this issue was agreed upon between the three presidents; the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as with all the political blocs and parties, and that he withdrew from trading permanently.
He added that the demand to withdraw US-led coalition forces from Iraq at this stage is in the interest of terrorism, stressing that its survival is a guarantee for Iraq and provides political cover in the face of foreign interventions.
Al-Halaboussi announced that he had contacted the head of the State Consultative Council in Saudi Arabia and discussed the convening of a meeting of the heads of the parliaments of the neighboring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey and Iran on April 20 in Baghdad to ensure the stability of Iraq.
The meeting was attended by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Bens, Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Chanahan as well as congressional leaders. His visit seemed to be a reassuring message to American officials, especially that the issue of withdrawing soldiers was the most prominent issue discussed with them, he said.
Halabousi responded to those who accuse him of using two speeches in both Baghdad and Washington on the withdrawal of US troops that his position is clear and has never used two languages to express his position.
He added that he expressed the interests of Iraq, but the votes issued by a number of deputies does not mean that they represent the will of all the Iraqi people. He said: “There are 329 deputies and have the right to make any position, but in the end decisions are taken by an absolute majority in these subjects, has been communicating with all the parliamentary blocs, political and partisan, and consensus was overwhelming majority to refuse to talk about any withdrawal of coalition forces.
Halabousi added that the war on terrorism is not over and this is what I discussed with American officials, and agreed that we entered a new phase of this war, which aims to dry up its intellectual and financial resources and deprive this extremist ideology of its ability to attract new supporters. He stressed that all political forces agreed to continue intelligence efforts and training of troops and provide technical and logistical support for the Iraqi forces and whatever he deems appropriate Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and that this is happening here in Baghdad and in Tehran.
“Some may be dismayed at my visit to Tehran, but I say clearly and frankly that for the sake of Iraq, I will visit any country, especially the neighboring countries, and Iran with whom we have 1400 kilometers of the border and can not be ignored.”
In response to a question about the accusation that Iran is behind the incitement of some parliamentary blocs to demand the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Halabousi said that «as we are moving for the benefit of Iraq, there may be forces moving for the benefit of others, but I assure you that it stopped completely» . He added that wasting more time on this issue is in the interest of terrorism, not Iraq.
The role of US forces in Iraq and what Halaboussi described as the second phase of the fight against terrorism, whether Washington has agreed to abide by these tasks only, and the position of Iraq if the US forces in Iraq decided to carry out operations in Syria, said Halabusi that «the original agreement between The United States and Iraq regulate the role of these forces in defeating the organization of preachers and terrorism, and this requires conducting military operations on the border inside and outside Iraq. Al-Halbusi said the coordination between the Iraqi and US forces during his presidency of the security committee in Anbar when he was its governor, and that the operations are coordinated under the supervision of the military leadership, stressing that the number of US troops in Iraq will not be reduced and Iraq’s relationship with the United States is not linked and is not affected by the relationship With any other country.
Halaboussi stressed that he discussed the sanctions imposed on Iran with US officials and that he asked for more time for Iraq to develop its capabilities and investments, which enables it to abandon any sources of energy needed by the Iraqi people now.
He added that Iraq is using Iranian gas and electric power, and discussed with US officials contracts projects conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil with ExxonMobil to invest in these sectors to help Iraq to self-sufficiency. He added that it was clear that these projects will be implemented in 3 stages, and ends after 3 years, and «it is unreasonable to impose sanctions on Iraq can not afford it and find quick alternatives to avoid». He added that Iraq will continue to demand exemptions from sanctions on Iran, and that this will be back to his search when the contract is signed with ExxonMobil soon.
Al-Halbusi stressed that Iraq does not defend anyone, but his circumstances do not allow him to meet his needs now, adding that he does not broadcast secretly when he says that there is dissatisfaction with the Iranian intervention and how to end its intervention both in Iraq and in the region. The relationship with them must be based on mutual respect and respect for Iraq’s sovereignty. He added that he discussed with US officials the cessation of foreign interference, especially that Iran is not the only one to intervene in Iraq, and there is Turkey as well. He said rebuilding a strong Iraq was a guarantee of stability in the region.
Asked whether US pressure on Iran had diminished Iran’s influence in Iraq, Halabousi said he had not discussed Washington’s relations with Tehran, but he could confirm that US troops in Iraq provided him with political cover and support to stop foreign interference.
In an interview with the American Institute of Peace, Halabousi said he had invited the heads of the parliaments of Iraq’s neighbors to hold a meeting in Baghdad to discuss the stability of Iraq. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that he had contacted the head of the Shura Council in Saudi Arabia and discussed with him a date for this meeting on April 20 and that they had agreed in principle. He added that the invitation will be addressed to six countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Turkey, Syria and Iran.
On the other hand, Al Halbusi stressed Iraq’s keenness on all its executive and legislative powers to open up to its Arab environment and strengthen its relations with it, especially with the Gulf countries, especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He stressed the need for a real partnership with this environment, and that this partnership has a positive impact on the processing of many files in Iraq, both at the level of investment or reactivate the economic movement and the revival of free trade.