Nuri al-Maliki speaks during an interview with Reuters in Baghdad on January 12, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
CAIRO - 15 February 2018: Iraqi Vice President Nouri al Maliki affirmed that the upcoming legislative elections scheduled for May will take place as anticipated despite the challenges the country is facing.
He affirmed in an interview with Egypt Today on Wednesday, February 14 that there are still several powers trying to manipulate the country’s destiny. However, the Iraqi government and people are still managing to achieve several positive steps and small victories, including defeating the Islamic State (IS).
Maliki noted that several foreign governments are pushing to cause chaos within Iraq, thereby leading to the failure of the state and ending its democratic experience and political process. He accused several countries of backing and financing IS. “IS moved to Iraq as a result of Syria’s crises. Some regimes sought to create chaos in our country,” Maliki added.
Commenting on Kurdistan’s referendum held on September 25, 2017, Maliki described it as “illegal” and “opposed to the constitution.” Maliki said, “I believe that the most realistic solution for the crises came through Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court in November 2017, which affirmed that the referendum is not constitutional and, accordingly, everything that follows becomes invalid.”
He affirmed that the government excluded any military solutions then because of its refusal to use arms against the Iraqi people. “We still call all of the Iraqi parties to a national dialogue in order to find proper solutions for our problems.”
Maliki described Egyptian-Iraqi ties as “strong and deep.” He affirmed that his government is aiming to strengthen bilateral relations even more during the upcoming days. “Egypt is a key player in the region, with whom we share long history, relations and interests. We are looking for enhancing our relations more and hope that Egypt has a more effective role regarding our country’s reconstruction,” Maliki said.
For three days until Wednesday, February 14, several countries, humanitarian organizations and donors gathered in Kuwait to help reconstruct Iraq.
The Kuwaiti International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI) kicked off on Monday, February 21 under the auspices of Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah with the participation of 70 humanitarian organizations, the representatives of 1,850 global companies and the officials of 70 countries worldwide.
The three-day conference aimed to fix the damage caused by war and disputes, according to official statements. About $100 billion in donations are estimated to be needed for Iraq to revive and rebuild.
Egypt participated in the conference with a delegation headed by Presidential Assistant for National and Strategic Projects Ibrahim Mahlab. He said in statements to MENA on Monday that Egypt's participation in KICRI came from the state’s similar experiences. “We will stand with Iraq and help it with all the knowledge and experience we have gained during the past four years,” Mahlab said.
He added that Egypt's participation in KICRI reflects its pioneering role on Arab, regional and international levels. Mahlab affirmed that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi made directives on the necessity of standing by Iraq in order for it to benefit from Egypt's pioneering expertise in the field of reconstruction and to help Baghdad rebuild areas damaged by terrorists.
Iraq managed to collect billions of dollars during the conference as donations from its allies, according to Reuters. Saudi Arabia announced that it will provide Iraq with a $1 billion loan through its Saudi Fund for Development and $500 million in export credit. Also, Turkey said it would give Iraq $5 billion in credit lines.
UAE pledged to offer Iraq $500 million, while Britain pledged another $1 billion annually in export credit over 10 years.
Additional reporting by