Iraq says it will stay clear of US-Iran tensions

By Reuters – Feb 11,2017 – JORDAN TIMES


Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi is seen on a screen as he speaks via a videoconference during a ministerial summit to hold discussion on the future of Mosul city, post-Daesh terror group, in Paris on October 20, 2016 (Reuters photo)


BAGHDAD —Iraq will not take part in any regional or international conflicts, Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi told state TV on Saturday.

The comment came after Abadi had spoken in a phone call with US President Donald Trump during which tensions with Iran were mentioned. The call was the first between the two leaders.

A political commentator close to Abadi, Ihsan Al Shammari, said Abadi’s comment addressed the US-Iranian tensions.

Iran has close ties with the Shiite political elite ruling Iraq, while Washington is providing critical military support to Iraqi forces battling the Daesh terror group.

“Iraq is very keen to preserve its national interests… and does not wish to be part of any regional or international conflict which would lead to disasters for the region and for Iraq,” Abadi said, according to state TV.

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