Iraq announced yesterday that it would not be joining the International Alliance for Safety and Protection of Maritime Navigation in the Gulf, saying that this military force “complicates the political and security situation.”
In a statement the spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Al-Sahaf said Baghdad believes the formation of any military force to protect the waterways in the Gulf would further complicate the situation in the region.
“Due to the fact that the escalation between Tehran and Washington took multiple paths, Iraq will remain neutral on this escalation and stress the need to maintain the safety, balance and stability of the region.”
Al-Sahaf continued: “We emphasise our support of solutions to maintain stability and balance in the region and we assume our role in backing the success of this vision by refusing to join any military axis aimed to secure maritime navigation in the Gulf. We believe that the maritime security is the responsibility of the countries of the region.”
He stressed that “Iraq takes into consideration its interests, the nature of the region and developments taking place in it,” highlighting that “the region needs to promote a common political vision between neighbouring countries.”
“Iraq plans to become a meeting point and attraction for major investment companies, while opening up to major economies,” he explained.
The Iraqi refusal to join the force came in conjunction with the UAE announcing it had signed up, adding its forces to those of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Australia, the US, UK and Israel.