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Al Maliki Saved Us the Trouble of a Reply | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi President Nuri Al Maliki has had enough of the taxing rebuttals stemming from of the barrage of insults, defamations, and accusations of treachery after we disapproved of the threatening manner that he used against the so-called “neighboring countries.” Last week in front of a tribal gathering in Baghdad President Al Maliki addressed these “neighboring countries” saying “[you must] stop those that cause harm to Iraq until Iraq no longer needs to defend itself.”

However the day before yesterday, Mr. Al Maliki issued a statement retracting, or correcting [his comments on] the neighboring countries, in which he said “We are keen to strengthen our relations with neighboring countries, and Iraq has recently witnessed a number of countries opening their embassies [in Baghdad] and announced their desire to participate in the process of reconstruction and development.” Al Maliki added that Iraq’s policy “is to increase positive relations with all nations, and work to solve the problems caused by the previous regime, establishing good relations with them [the nations] on the basis of common interests.”

This is what is required, and hoped for, and is the difference between Iraq today and Iraq under the previous regime, for threatening language does not move anything forward or change anybody’s position, it only serves to make things more complicated.

The machinery of insults that were issued last week on known websites commenting on my previous article “Al Maliki: Who are These Neighboring Countries” were fueled by sectarianism and extremism, and were not in the language of reason and [did not] understand the common interests between the countries in the region.

Safeguarding Baghdad is in the interest of all the surrounding countries that do not have ambitious designs on the lands of Mesopotamia. It is not reasonable for the surrounding Arab countries to mobilize their entire capabilities – specifically the Gulf states- in order to combat terrorism, which has cost them much economically, politically and with regards to security, while allowing terrorism [to continue] in Iraq. For if your neighbor has settled down [and is in safety], then you too are in safety. This is the logic of the Arab states that are eager for Arab solidarity and pursue reconciliation with Iraq to ensure that Iraq does not become a marginal or divided state that exports terrorism and problems.

Mr. Al Maliki’s statement is important and should be respected because politics is the language of logic and [mutual] interests, not the language of threats, and Iraq is an Arab country no matter what is said. The significance of Iraq does not lie in any one [single] sect; but rather in its Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, and Christian communities, indeed in every single Iraqi citizen regardless of religion.

There is no doubt that there are some outstanding problems between Iraq and many of its surrounding countries, but more important than this is that there is communication [between them] for the sake of building trust between all parties for problem solving is based upon [mutual] respect, and aims at safeguarding our region. If this occurs, and in the spirit of Mr. Al Maliki’s statement, we can be certain that the threat is behind us, and that as Mr. Al Maliki said in his statement, that Iraq “is working to solve the problems caused by the previous regime.”

As for those that rushed to insult and accuse, we say to them, would that your jealousy of Iraq be the size of your jealousy of Iran.