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US State Secretary Intervenes to Prevent 'Iranian Choice' in Iraq

US State Secretary Intervenes to Prevent 'Iranian Choice' in Iraq

Sunday, 2 September, 2018 - 08:15
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (File photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
Baghdad – Asharq Al-Awsat
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is strongly intervening to prevent the imposition of the “Iranian choice” in the formation of Iraq’s largest parliamentary bloc.

After a phone call between Pompeo and former President of the Kurdistan Region and head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Masud Barzani, the State Department announced that the Pompeo also held similar phone calls with outgoing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Vice President Ayad Allawi.

Pompeo stressed that the formation of a new government is a sovereign Iraqi process that should proceed according to Iraq’s constitutional timeline and should reflect the will of Iraqi voters. He emphasized that the United States hopes to see a strong Iraqi government that embraces all communities and serves all of the Iraqi people.

Washington supports Abadi for a second term and is trying to persuade the Kurds to join the bloc of Abadi, Allawi, Muqtada al-Sadr and Ammar al-Hakim instead of that of Hadi al-Amri and Nouri al-Maliki.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Defense Minister Erfan Al-Hayali received on Saturday, aides of chiefs of staff of Russia, Syria and Iran on the sidelines of the four-security conference, which began its work in Baghdad.

The meeting, sponsored by the Iraqi Army Chief of Staff, aims to increase and strengthen security and intelligence cooperation among these countries, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

The Ministry’s Directorate of Information and Moral Guidance indicated that the Minister stressed during the meeting that the war against ISIS is over but the battle against its ideas continues, noting that "Iraq’s victory on ISIS is the victory of the whole world on terrorism, which was a threat to world peace.”

"Iraq had to invest this victory by intensifying its intelligence efforts in cooperation with all the countries of the world and efforts to eliminate terrorist sleeping cells," added the Minister.

Ministry of Defense spokesman Major General Tahseen al-Khafaji considered the meeting very important in terms of intelligence and security efforts that it provides in the war against terrorist groups.

Khafaji told Asharq Al-Awsat that "the terrorist attack on Iraq has raised the need to establish an intelligence coordination unit between the four countries in 2015.”

Maj-Gen Khafaji explained that among the objectives of the new meeting is to evaluate the intelligence work over the past three years and to consider the possibility of including new countries in order to cooperate and coordinate security efforts against terrorist groups that continue to pose a threat to the countries of the region and the world.

He stressed that Iraq has become a reference in terms of security and intelligence information related to terrorist groups as a result of its long experience gained during the war with these groups over the past ten years.

Khafaji explained that his country is able to provide the three countries with very important information to help them locate these groups in their countries, especially in Syria and Russia.

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