Talks unprecedented, says Speaker Al-Ghanim
BAGHDAD, April 20, (Agencies): Kuwait’s chief lawmaker praised an Iraqi hosted conference for bringing together neighbouring parliaments, saying Kuwait welcomes a stable and united Iraq that is open to its neighbours. “For our part in Kuwait, we say, without ambiguity and with clarity: We are with a stable, secure and unified Iraq,” Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim told top lawmakers from the host nation, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Syria and Turkey.
The talks “give hope to the region’s people, Iraqis in specific, that entering an age of peace and stability is possible, and that regional fighting and tension are not an inevitable fate as some tend to portray,” he said.
“Strategically, we support a prosperous and developed Iraq that enjoys growth and prosperity,” the National Assembly Speaker said. Iraq is a “neighbour” and, he said, it was not in the interests of its neighbours for the country to be going through a period of turmoil.
This is the reason His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah chose to host the Iraqi reconstruction international donors’ conference in early 2018, he explained. Al-Ghanim described the talks as “unprecedented,” commending the “will” of the nations gathered and the “tireless efforts” of the Iraqi parliament speaker Mohammad Al-Halbousi in bringing them all together.
Al-Ghanim attended the talks alongside Saudi Arabia Shura Council chief Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Syria’s People’s Council chief Hammouda Sabbagh, Jordan’s House of Representatives chief Atef Tarawneh, Turkey National Assembly chief Mustafa Shantoub and Iran’s Foreign Policy and National Security parliament committee head Alaeddin Boroujerdi. The attendees discussed bolstering Iraq’s stability, development and prosperity along with multi-lateral ties, according to an Iraqi statement.
The heads of parliament were later expected to meet Iraqi President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi seeks to bolster his country’s nascent role as a mediator in the region.
Abdul Mahdi recently returned from visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia, both oil-super-powers that have long been vying for dominance in the Middle East. It is unusual for Saudi and Iranian officials to attend the same events.