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Parliaments of Iraq’s neighbours say ‘shared destiny’ calls for joint action

Baghdad hosts speakers of Jordan, S. Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey

By JT - Apr 20,2019 - Last updated at Apr 20,2019

Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh meets with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Al Halbousi during a parliamentary conference for Iraq’s neighbours in Baghdad on Saturday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The Arab region is at a crossroads and is facing enormous challenges that require unified efforts and integrated roles to move development forward, President of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union and Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said on Saturday.

Participating in the Baghdad-hosted parliamentary conference of Iraq’s neighbouring countries, Tarawneh called for supporting Iraq in building a modern country, especially after suffering from the repercussions of occupation, war and terrorism, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

During the conference — which saw the participation of heads of parliaments of Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey and Iran — the speaker highlighted the importance of consolidating the relationships between Iraq’s neighbouring countries, noting that these countries “share the same destiny”.

He also referred to the dire need for further cooperation among the participating countries in light of the difficult challenges the region is going through, adding that it is futile to stay isolaed from other countries. 

Participating countries have to agree on set priorities, to keep in sight the huge injustices the region is facing, particularly the continuation of Israeli occupation of Arab territories, its violations towards the rights of the Palestinian people and the attacks against Jerusalem, Tarawneh added.

In this regard, the speaker expressed Jordan’s pride in His Majesty King Abdullah’s custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

He stressed that the lack of joint action contributes to feeding terrorism and extremism among young people, who have become full of despair and frustration in light of the absence of the principles of justice and equality.

These conditions require all to support education and address ignorance, as well as offer healthcare programmes and provide jobs for the youth, to build on the military success achieved against terrorism on the ideological and social levels, Tarawneh stressed.

Iraqi parliament speaker, Mohammed Al Halbousi, who chaired the gathering in Baghdad, said that “what binds us to our neighbours is our common geographical destiny and common interests”.

The visiting officials pledged support for reconstruction and development efforts in Iraq and for the country’s continued stability following its victory over Daesh, after three years of war, Reuters said.

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