Iraqi Prime Minister: Our Greatest Hurdle Lies in Earning the Confidence of Our People
Since his appointment ten months ago, Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al Sudani, has been committed to improving the lives of Iraqis and restoring their trust in the political system. Al Sudani has prioritized providing basic services, fighting corruption, and undertaking economic reforms. Despite facing numerous challenges, his government remains strong and capable of delivering change based on credibility and fulfilling promises.
Independent Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Relations
Al Sudani has stressed on maintaining a balanced and independent foreign policy, free from interference from other nations. During the High-Level Week of the United Nations General Assembly, Al Sudani expressed his desire for a relationship beyond a security dimension with US officials. He confirmed that Iraq does not require combat troops but suggested the presence of military advisors needs to be regulated.
In the context of tensions with Kuwait, Al Sudani has shown commitment to international laws and UN Security Council decisions. He respects Kuwait’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and believes in strengthening the cooperation between the two countries through ongoing mutual visits. Similarly, Al Sudani has initiated active participation of GCC countries in Iraq through investment projects and their contribution to the Baghdad Conference, aiming for economic integration to enhance regional stability.
Securing Borders and Maintaining Peace
Al Sudani also emphasized the need for re-engagement with Syria to prevent security disturbances that could lead to the resurgence of ISIS. He advocates for a diplomatic approach over violence when dealing with tensions with Iran and Turkey. In line with this, the government has been actively emptying camps of Iranian dissident armed groups and monitoring the borders in the Kurdistan Region.
Domestically, Al Sudani’s main focus is on battling poverty. The government’s 2023 budget has set aside $4 billion for cash support for individuals and families below the poverty line. The prime minister emphasizes the importance of education and health in eradicating poverty.
Al Sudani has acknowledged corruption as a significant impediment to the private sector. The government is actively involved in a ‘real war’ against corruption and is making efforts to recover funds and hold those responsible accountable. The prime minister describes corruption as one of the biggest challenges facing Iraq, no less serious than the threat of terrorism.
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