Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Iraq's NS Advisor al Fayad: "Turkey & some Arabs behind terrorism resurgence in Iraq & Syria!'

"... The first cause is the rise of terrorist activity in the country, which in turn can be traced back to the terrorist safe havens that were created by the situation in Syria and the turmoil in some of the Arab Spring countries....
Al-Monitor:  Today, al-Qaeda combatants can easily move between the countries of the Middle East, be it Iraq or Syria. Is this due to a lack of security coordination between the countries of the region?
Fayad:  Yes, there is an absolute lack of security coordination between the countries of the region, apart from certain places and American efforts. One scarcely finds systematic coordination between the countries affected by these groups. Unfortunately, some countries provide extremist groups with support so as to further their agendas in other countries. This clearly goes against the principle of coordinating to fight these groups. For instance, transporting militants into Syria has been facilitated, with many coming from Arab countries by way of Turkey....
Al-Monitor:  What about Iraq’s foreign policy? Have diplomatic efforts helped national security in any way?
Fayad:  I was not aware that Iraq had a foreign policy. Political and social strife, a weak national identity and disunity still influence Iraq’s representatives abroad. With all due respect to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have yet to craft a political policy that reflects the identity of the new Iraq. No single strategy is capable of reconciling divergent points of view, burying the hatchet between rival groups and resolving the aforementioned problems. The routine performance of the political system has not worked wonders, nor has it indicated that it has the capacity to resolve problems. Another factor is the fact that the administration is preoccupied with domestic issues and internal security, which in itself is a serious structural flaw.
Al-Monitor:  Does the danger of a nuclear Iran weigh heavily on Iraq? The whole world fears the Iranian nuclear program; why, then, does Iraq seem reassured, despite the fact that it shares a border with Iran?
Fayad:  Proximity to Iran is irrelevant in this matter. Honestly, we have bigger fish to fry which are closer to us than Iran, such as addressing daily infiltrations and bombings. We may not be immune to strategic threats abroad, but these are not the primary concerns of the Iraqi people. As far as the Iraqi government is concerned, Iran is a neighboring country whose common border stretches for more than 1,000 km and has sectarian pull.
Iraq seeks to advance its own interests by establishing good relations with Iran and other countries. But, frankly it does not sense the danger of Iran going nuclear. What we do sense, however, is Turkey meddling in Iraqi affairs and the Arab countries sending militias and armed groups into Iraq, in addition to their refusal to politically engage with Iraq......"

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