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Iraq’s prime minister Al-Abadi speaks in Berlin

At the invitation of the Körber Foundation, Prime minister Al-Abadi spoke in Berlin on the domestic and foreign policy challenges faced by Iraq. With national reconciliation, the struggle against the Islamic State and the revitalisation of the economy, these challenges are enormous.

At the invitation of the Körber Foundation, Prime minister Al-Abadi spoke in Berlin on the domestic and foreign policy challenges faced by Iraq. With national reconciliation, the struggle against the Islamic State and the revitalisation of the economy, these challenges are enormous. Al-Abadi explained that after only five months in office the new government has already achieved a number of things. It has passed a budget on time and presented a law for the establishment of a national guard. However, the country needs international support.

What is raging in Iraq is a struggle between civilisation and barbarism. However, the transnational terror of the Islamic State is a global threat. Thomas Paulsen, Chairman of the Körber Foundation, asked the Prime Minister how long it will take to drive the IS out of Iraq. Al-Abadi stated that he was unable to specify a time plan, however, with international support and the necessary arms supplies the struggle could be successfully completed this year. However, other steps are required to achieve this. For example, fighting youth unemployment in the country as young people will continue to turn to terrorism due to a lack of perspectives. In order to revitalise the economy Al-Abadi called on international investors to return to the country. Furthermore, bureaucratic hurdles in Iraq need to be dismantled, state enterprises privatised and the dependency on oil reduced. In addition, new sources of income need to be tapped. Improved cooperation between the public and the private sector is also planned, operating both centrally and locally.

However, first of all the IS needs to be quickly defeated. This requires the breaking of the supply lines from Syria. The longer the conflict continues, the stronger the IS could become. However, once Mosul is retaken, the IS can also be eradicated ideologically. Many Sunni soldiers have now been seamlessly integrated into the Iraqi army. Al-Abadi would like to see support from Germany in the form of intelligence gathering equipment. In addition to weapons, he also needs expert know-how for the clearing of mines.

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