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President: Iraq won’t turn into an arena for ‘settling scores’

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (R) shake hands with Iraqi President Barham Saleh as they meet at Palazzo Chigi in Rome on 24 January 2020. [FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images]
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (R) shake hands with Iraqi President Barham Saleh as they meet at Palazzo Chigi in Rome on 24 January 2020. [FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images]

Iraqi President Barham Salih said yesterday that his country will not be used as an arena for settling scores between “others”, adding that the Iraqi government is working to consolidate a capable and sovereign state and confine weapons to state agencies.

Salih made the remarks during a meeting with Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini who arrived in Baghdad earlier this week.

“Iraq seeks to strengthen bilateral relations with Italy in all fields and cooperate in facing the various challenges facing the region and the world, mostly terrorism,” the Iraqi president said, stressing on the importance of “strengthening military cooperation between the two friendly countries, especially in the field of equipping and training security forces in their various formations and developing their combat capabilities.”

Salih praised the Italian forces’ role within NATO and the international coalition fighting Daesh saying they support “the Iraqi armed forces and contribute to many humanitarian and service projects”.

For his part, the Italian minister affirmed Rome’s commitment to supporting Iraq in various fields, especially combating terrorism, and strengthening bilateral economic and cultural cooperation.

READ: US embassy closure ‘dangerous for region’, warns Iraq FM 

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