Baghdad, May 10 (IANS) Iraq is not the settling ground for the US and Iran, newly appointed Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has said.
Al-Kadhimi made the remarks on Saturday after separately receiving the US and Iranian Ambassadors, during which he expressed his country’s keenness to cooperate with all countries, reports Xinhua news agency.
During his meeting with US Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller, al-Kadhimi underscored the need for bilateral cooperation in the economic and security fields, as well as for preparing for the strategic dialogue between the two countries, the Prime Minister’s media office said in a statement.
Al-Kadhimi also asserted the need to maintain security and stability in the region, while reiterating that Iraq will not be a ground for settling accounts and launching attacks on any neighbouring or friendly country, the statement said.
Tueller confirmed the US’ readiness to support Iraq in all aspects, particularly in the economic field and in containing the COVID-19 spread, the statement added.
Also on Saturday, al-Kadhimi held a meeting with Iranian Ambassador Iraj Masjedi, during which he confirmed Iraq’s keenness to maintain the best relations with Tehran to serve the interests of the two neighbours, as well as regional security and stability, the media office said in a separate statement.
“Al-Kadhimi stressed that Iraq will not be a passage or hotbed for terrorism against any country or a ground for settling accounts,” the statement said.
For his part, Masjedi expressed his country’s willingness to develop the bilateral ties in all aspects, it added.
Al-Kadhimi’s comments came amid the rising tensions between Iran and the US since the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces, in an American drone attack near Baghdad in January.
The Iranian-backed militias have frequently attacked Iraqi military bases housing US troops as well as the US embassy inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad.
Around 5,000 US troops have been deployed in Iraq to support domestic forces in the battle against the Islamic State, mainly for training and advisory purposes.