Iraqi premier: MENA faces various crises that we must address collectively

Iraqi premier: MENA faces various crises that we must address collectively
Iraqi premier: MENA faces various crises that we must address collectively

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi reiterated that the Middle East has been significantly affected by the consequences of climate change, the water crisis, and the dangers of desertification. This is in addition to health challenges following the emergence and spread of epidemics such as the coronavirus pandemic, which calls for collective and joint efforts to confront them.

Al-Kadhimi also stressed that the repercussions of the crisis in Ukraine require intensifying regional and international efforts to find quick solutions and unifying efforts to ensure food security and secure energy supplies. The Iraqi prime minister — during his speech at the Jeddah Security and Development Summit hosted by the Kingdom in Jeddah — suggested the establishment of the Middle East Bank for Development and Integration in partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Egypt and Jordan.

He called for the bank to be concerned with sustainable regional development by financing infrastructure projects that would help connect the regional economies, and prioritizes the development of regional electricity networks, oil and gas pipelines, highway networks, ports, airports, and heavy industries with a large regional market. This is in addition to financing projects in water resource management, desertification, and climate change mitigation.

“We meet today amid sensitive regional and international challenges, and also amid great hopes and aspirations that cooperation efforts, building bridges of trust and giving precedence to the language of dialogue to achieve a safe and stable environment that guarantees a decent life for the nations of the region,” Al-Kadhimi said.

He pointed out that his country has taken initiatives to enhance regional dialogue, cooperation, and partnership, and that Iraq is proceeding with this approach in its national interest and the interest of the region in general.

Al-Kadhimi explained that Iraq — in cooperation with its neighbors and friends — played a key role in fighting terrorism and defeating Daesh (so-called ISIS). He stressed that uprooting terrorism calls for strengthening national, regional, and international efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism and dry up its sources of financing through joint security cooperation and information exchange and expertise.

He reiterated that Iraq, being an important oil producer, faces an increase in environmental challenges, therefore, Iraq is working to invest in gas that is burned in oil fields and working on explaining the scope of investment in alternative energy. The Al-Khadimi stressed Iraq's endeavor to enhance the dialogue environment in the Middle East and considers that the atmosphere of economic cooperation and security coordination between all brothers in the region directly serves the interests of the peoples of the region.

He explained that Iraq and the GCC countries have taken important steps to strengthen their relations aimed at achieving integration in various fields, hence, the signing of two electricity interconnection agreements with Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries, adding that Iraq is on track toward electrical linkage with Egypt and Jordan.

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