Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari said on Tuesday that his country rejects any military exercise that would threaten Iraq’s security and sovereignty, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.
In remarks made on the sidelines of a joint press conference held with his Tunisian counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui in Tunis, Al-Jaafari stressed on the need to respect the sovereignty of his country, saying “Iraq’s sovereignty is a red line”.
Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that as many as 20 Arab and Islamic countries will participate in joint military exercises.
Jhinaoui said that his country will not be involved in the military exercises announced by Saudi Arabia, saying: “We are part of this collaboration, but we have no direct interest, and the Saudis are our brothers and we collaborate with them in all areas, but we are not key players in the exercises.”
The Iraqi Foreign Minister began on Tuesday an official visit to Tunisia during which he met both President Beji Caid Essebsi and Prime Minister Habib Essid.
Saudi Arabia announced that countries like the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Senegal, Sudan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoros, Djibouti, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Egypt, Mauritania and Mauritius will participate in the largest military exercise of its kind in the region’s history.
The official Saudi news agency said the military exercise “sends a clear message that the Kingdom and its brothers and friends stand united to face all challenges and maintain peace and stability in the region”.