The British Ambassador: Al-Kazemi has an opportunity to implement economic reforms..and we did not consider closing our embassy in Baghdad

2021/01/30 11:21

The number of readings 69

Section : Iraq

Baghdad / Obelisk: The British Ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, said, Saturday, January 30, 2021, that the visit of the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi to London, witnessed the agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to support economic reforms in Iraq, indicating that the Ministry of Finance is now in negotiations With the International Monetary Fund to obtain loans to support the economy and hold elections.

Hickey stated in a televised interview that during the visit of the Iraqi government delegation, headed by the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, to Britain, London took it upon itself to support the Iraqi economy and brought together the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank with the Iraqi government delegation, to support the economic reforms carried out by Baghdad and this is what Now, indicating that Al-Kazemi has an opportunity to achieve economic reforms, he is receiving security support from Britain and the European Union countries.

He explained that negotiations are currently underway between the International Monetary Fund and Finance Minister Ali Allawi, a great opportunity to achieve the desired economic reforms, without conditions other than the language of understanding and dialogue to support the economy and prepare for elections.

Hickey added: I am optimistic that this year will not witness the same threats to the efforts of the Iraqi government. There will be calm and improvement in relations between Washington and Tehran under the Biden administration, and an improvement in the relationship of the factions and Washington in return as well.

He continued, saying: We have concerns about the Iranian role in the region and its nuclear program. We hope for dialogue this year and negotiations. There is an opportunity for settlement and progress in the field of dialogue.

He went on to say: We hope that Iran will deal and cooperate with state institutions in Iraq, and not with the factions that are outside the framework and control of the Iraqi state.

Hickey revealed that there are Iraqi investigations, and the results will be announced, and those who fire rockets at diplomatic missions will be prosecuted, adding that I am not sure that Iran is directly behind those who bomb embassies, but everyone knows that the factions are launching the missiles.

And he added: We did not require Al-Kazemi to dissolve the popular crowd, because the crowd has an important role in the war against ISIS, it is an important part of the Iraqi security forces, and the most important thing is to control most of the joints of the security services by the Commander in Chief, unfortunately there are armed factions outside the control of the crowd and the state represents a great challenge. For the Iraqi people first, its stability and prosperity.

He stressed: We do not work with our allies to dismantle the popular crowd, in the long run the state institutions and the Iraqi army must be strengthened. We focus on the importance of having a strong army and police, and the British army has taken upon itself the tasks of developing the capabilities of the Iraqi army.

He added that the factions outside the crowd and state control represent a threat to our embassy and the United States embassy in Baghdad, adding that we have not considered closing the British embassy in Baghdad, although the threats include all diplomats, and we are among them.

Regarding the relationship with Iran, Hickey pointed out that all indications accuse Iran of supporting the armed factions in Iraq, revealing that he had spoken with the Iranian side and their ambassador in Baghdad, and called for him to support the Iraqi state institutions, as this concerns the Iranians as well. 

“Sometimes my dialogue is difficult with the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad,” Hickey said, “but we meet in the need for stability in Iraq.”  

He pointed out that there is no evidence of a British role, through the company operating at the airport, that it had participated in or assisted in the airport operation and the assassination of the engineer and Soleimani. 

The ambassador expressed his happiness that the Iraqi government has implemented concrete measures to enhance the protection of diplomats in Baghdad. 

He explained that there are those who say that there is direct support from the London Embassy for the protest movement in Iraq, this is not true, but we support Al-Kazemi’s decisions to meet their demands and eliminate corruption.  

Regarding the election file, the British ambassador mentioned that the most important thing is transparent elections in Iraq, and trust between the people and the political class, stressing his country’s aspiration for UN monitoring of elections in Iraq in order to ensure its transparency.

Hickey called on Iraqis to participate widely in the upcoming elections, as there is no alternative to a transparent and fair vote, and the Al-Kazemi government will continue to prepare the atmosphere for that.

Regarding his communication with the Iraqis, Hickey said, I communicate via Facebook with many citizens, we understand the need to communicate with a new generation in Iraq, with a not small percentage under the age of 18 who should be prepared.  

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