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Stronger support urged for Iraq to maintain stability, achieve comprehensive development

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Baghdad, Dec 21 (IANS) Participants attending the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership have called for stronger support for Iraq to help it maintain security and stability, and achieve comprehensive development.

The conference, which was held in the Jordanian town of Sweimeh by the Dead Sea shore, was attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani and French President Emmanuel Macron, as well as leaders and officials from Arab states, the UN, Arab League, Gulf Cooperation Council, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and European Union, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the conference’s final declaration, participants stressed the need for more support for Iraq in the fields of energy, water, electrical connectivity, food and health security, transportation, infrastructure projects and climate protection.

Reiterating their condemnation of extremism and terrorism in all forms, the participants also renewed their support for Iraq’s efforts to combat terrorism and achieve comprehensive development and economic integration in various sectors.

At the conference’s opening on Tuesday, King Abdullah II of Jordan called for increased cooperation with Iraq to help the country continue its advance toward security, stability and prosperity.

The King called for increased regional cooperation with Iraq to ensure a continued supply of energy and commodities, while stressing the need to address the climate change impacts at the regional level, said a statement by the Jordanian Royal Hashemite Court.

In his speech at the conference, Sudani expressed the hope to enhance relations with neighbouring and friendly countries in various fields to help enhance stability and development in the region, Jordanian state-run Petra news agency reported.

Sudani said the Iraqi government has adopted an “open approach” to building regional and international partnerships based on joint interests, including the establishment of comprehensive strategic projects connecting Iraq with its neighbours.

He said that the Iraqi government is working hard to improve the country’s investment environment in terms of legislation, procedures and guarantees, in order to enable investors to access Iraqi markets and take advantage of the “significant” opportunities it offers.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi noted that the conference comes at a time of a “remarkable” improvement in conditions in Iraq, while praising the sacrifices and efforts of the Iraqi people in fighting terrorism. He also voiced Egypt’s utter rejection of interference in Iraqi domestic affairs.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that the kingdom supports Iraq’s efforts to face challenges, while unveiling the Saudi plans to activate an electricity connection project with Iraq.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that dialogue and cooperation among countries in the region is not an option, but rather a dire need, adding that Iran’s fixed policy is to avoid war and exert efforts to restore security and stability.

–IANS

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