Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Al-Jaafari to Asharq Al-Awsat: “There are no Iranian camps in Iraq, instead there are world-wide international consultants.” - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ibrahim al-Jaafari

Ibrahim al-Jaafari

Below is an extract of an interview held with the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who is also
Iraq’s former Prime Minister, about the current atmosphere in Iraq.

• What is going to happen after the Arab ministerial meeting, and the positive support for Iraq against the Turkish Intervention?

We have first opted for the route of bilateral Iraqi –Turkish discussions on resolving the situation; we always are concerned about sustaining a good relationship with Turkey, and we have conveyed that to all Arab ministers as well as the Foreign Ministers of the UN Security Council’s permanent member states. The Arab ministerial meeting came later, and we now wait on the Turkish reaction and on whether it will be rational, immediate, and realistic proving good intention, we will deal with the situation based on their reaction.

• Some say that Iran also has set foot in Iraq’s battlefield, thus there is nothing can explain the commotion Iraq is making against Turkey, how do you see that?

There are no Iranian military camps or any other camps in Iraq. There is solely the Turkish presence, which occurs without Iraqi understanding, for we have several international consultants coming from America, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia all of whom were requested by the government.

• How do you read into the initiative on establishing an Islamic military force? And what is Iraq’s position on the matter?

Our position on the Islamic coalition is supportive of any initiative put forth bringing Muslims closer to each other, unifying them, and makes them stronger. Nevertheless it is conditioned for any initiative to be clearly identified and open for discussions between all concerned parties. The initiative should hold the capacity of including all principal and effective parties, and because Iraq is a member in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, its Arab territorial depth, and the battle field it holds in the limitless fight against ISIS, Iraq should have been the place to start the negotiations rather than it receiving news of them over the means of media.