PM tells Arab states to do more for Iraq
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki slammed Iraq’s neighbours on Tuesday for not doing enough to reinforce ties with Baghdad, abandon his country's debts or control militant activity across the borders.
At Tuesday’s meeting in Kuwait attended by Arab and US representatives, Al Maliki expressed his government’s grievances with lack of support from neighbouring countries. Al Maliki did not specify any state. "It's difficult for us to explain why diplomatic ties have not been resumed with Iraq, which got rid of a dictatorship," Maliki started the meeting saying.
"Many other foreign countries have kept diplomatic missions in Baghdad regardless of security considerations." "A safe and stable Iraq serves the interests of regional nations and the world, but that does not mean Iraq should alone pay the price of confronting terror while others stay neutral," he stated, according to Reuters.
"Iraq today is different from the previous Iraq which assaulted its neighbours. Iraq ... is ready to play a constructive role in security and stability in the region," the Iraqi PM noted. Al Maliki also urged neighbouring countries to make more effort to prevent militants crossing into Iraq. "We call on all our brothers and friends and all neighbouring countries to make more effort and to strengthen security measures to prevent terrorists from infiltrating our territory through joint borders."
No Arab nation ambassador is stationed permanently in Baghdad, and visits by top officials from Arab states are also rare.
Relief of debt and suspension of compensation owed because of Saddam Hussein’s Kuwaiti invasion is still awaited, Al Maliki said elsewhere in his speech. "The cancelling of debts and the suspension of compensation that Iraq pays would present a positive message to Iraq's people that there is a real wish to help them overcome crises and speed up reconstruction."