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Former Iraqi PM: Saudi Ambassador Spoke about his Assassination with Evidence | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi speaks during an interview with Reuters in Baghdad, April 20, 2014. (photo by REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani)

Baghdad – Former Iraqi Prime Minister and head of Iraqi National Accord Iyad Allawi said that Saudi Arabia has always wanted the best for Iraq and its people. He denied any allegations that Saudi Arabia interferes in the Iraqi affairs.

PM Allawi said that there are political differences between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and that is normal.

He went on to say that it is good that Saudi Arabia rejected to host a Sunni convention, adding that Saudi Arabia doesn’t interfere in Iraq’s affairs.

“Ever since I was a prime minister, Saudi Arabia and the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz were keen on the Iraqi people and Iraq. They supported Iraq in everything including the war on terrorism,” added Allawi.

When asked about the published article in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper about the assassination schemes of Saudi Ambassador to Iraq Thamer al-Sabhan, Allawi said that the ambassador wouldn’t have spoken if he didn’t have evidence.

The PM said that Ambassador Sabhan doesn’t accuse the Iraqi government, rather the armed militias. He added that an investigation should be done by someone other than the Iraqi government.

“As for Iraqi MPs or politicians attacking Saudi Arabia, I believe that the relations we have with Saudi Arabia very high…our relations are strategic,” he went on to say that if the Iraqi PM doesn’t like what the Saudi ambassador said, he should have spoke with the Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines or request the change of the ambassador.

Allawi said that Iraq plays an important role in the Arab and Islamic relations. “Iraq is the only Arab country that has communication with two Islamic Non-Arab countries, Iran and Turkey.”

“It is known that Iran plays an important role in the strategic decision in Iraq,” said the PM adding that this was the reason why when he was a prime minister, Allawi called for a regional conference for Iraq and nearing countries, in addition to U.N. permanent members, EU, ICU, and GCC which was very successful.

As for Iraqi matters, Allawi warned that the country could be heading towards division which would lead to failure. He believed that reform couldn’t be done through coups, like the failed attempt in Turkey which he was against, but rather through early elections and a new election law. He added that the current elections were weird since it took them a month to announce the results.

Allawi confirmed that there had been talks about a rescue government head by Allawi himself, but he said that no decision has been made. He hinted that such a decision is taken in Tehran, or Washington, or Ankara but not Baghdad.

According to Allawi, Ad-Dawa party is the one ruling the country, holding the National Coalition and Ad-Dawa the responsibility for what is happening in Iraq. He clarified that they tried to take him out of his position as deputy prime minister although he didn’t want the position to begin with.

Allawi warned of division in Iraq if the situation remained as it is. He added that recently he viewed a recording of the U.S. Congress discussing dividing Iraqi into Shiites and Kurds. He also mentioned U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s bill to divide Iraq into three regions or states.

Former PM stressed that he is keen on Iraq’s unity. He spoke with current PM Haidar Abadi showing his full support for Iraq to return the strong country it was before.