Iraq Willing to Mediate between Iran, Saudi Arabia: President Rashid

Iraq Willing to Mediate between Iran, Saudi Arabia: President Rashid

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid expressed his country's willingness to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Rashid said that improving relations with neighboring countries including Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Jordan is a source of strength for Iraq.

He expressed pride in Iraq hosting a Mideast meeting of senior Arab lawmakers, and said the country is willing to continue serving as a mediator in talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iraq's president also asserted that his country is at peace after it had overcome the hardships of the past two decades of the US invasion, as well as violence by the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terror group, and is now intent on improving everyday life for its people.

Rashid also promised to take a hard line on corruption. 

In October, reports emerged that over $2.5 billion in Iraqi government revenue was embezzled by a network of businesses and officials from the country’s tax authority.

“I admit, we did have and we still have some problems with corruption, but the government is very serious (about fighting it),” Rashid said.

After Rashid’s election, he nominated Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who formed a government with promises of improving security and public services.

Despite its oil wealth, Iraq’s infrastructure remains weak. Private generators fill in for the hours of daily state electricity cuts. Long-promised public transportation projects, including a Baghdad metro, have not come to fruition.

Rashid said this is due to damage as “a result of conflicts and as a result of terror, as a result of a number of years living at war.”

Rashid acknowledged there are still conflicts, but urged Iraqis, particularly the younger generation, to be patient and have faith in the future.

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