Iraqi Prime Minister, Adil Abdul Mahdi, during a speech to Iraqi military commanders at Iraq’s Defense University for Military Studies in Baghdad, emphasized the need to develop the security capacities of the country.
The Prime Minister explained that “there was no chance of success for the previous governments – and not even the current government – unless we develop our security capabilities to be able to safekeep the sovereignty and unity of Iraq.”
Amid ongoing unrest and demonstrations in the southern and central provinces of the country, international bodies and other countries have condemned and criticized the use of violence by security forces looking to repress the protests.
Among the protesters’ demands are constitutional reforms and the ousting of Iranian influence in Baghdad.
Abdul Mahdi also stated that “international tensions between the United States and Iran are impacting Iraq’s internal affairs,” noting, however, that Iraq was not basing its foreign policy on the disputes of other countries.
“We have always focused on our common interests in dealing with other countries,” he pointed out, linking Iraq’s shared concerns with neighboring countries such as Turkey, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia.
“The government’s action plan is focused on taking necessary steps to ensure that armed authorities and security forces are in the hands of the state,” affirming that his government was working towards achieving this goal. “There is only one Iraq, for the people, despite their political affiliation.”
“We have organized the structure of the Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) and Peshmerga forces through an executive decision, making them a part of Iraq’s military,” Abdul Mahdi reminded.
He also argued Iraq’s Constitution was in need of amending for “certain articles that are inactive and do not apply to the current reality,” stating that the United States’ constitution has been amended 22 times since its creation to reflect the reality on the ground.
Editing by Nadia Riva