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Official visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq Haider al-Abadi to Italy.



Official visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq Haider al-Abadi to Italy.

Official visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq Haider al-Abadi to Italy.

During his official visit to Italy, on February 10th, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had a meeting with the Italian President of the Council, Matteo Renzi. During the meeting at Palazzo Chigi, many topics were discussed– from security to economy, from developmentcooperation to culture – in order tostrengthen the solid bilateral relations among the two countries.

Regarding the upcoming work of consolidation of the Mosul dam, recently assigned to the Italian company Trevi, world leader in this field, the Italian Presidentoutlinedthat the two governments will cooperatein guaranteeing the security of the area, in a defensive approach: “We have already talked about it with Obama and we believewe will do an excellent work with the friends of the Iraqi Government in fullsharing and cooperation”. Words remarked also by Iraqi PM Abadi, who mentioned as such work has a crucial relevance, since“the dam represents the water sourcefor Iraqi people”.

Moreover, President Renzi highlighted that Italy is one of the most engaged countrieswithin the International Coalition against the so-called Islamic State, with over 700 members of our armed force. “Quantitatively and qualitatively, we are among the most involved and, in particular,I would like to thank the Carabinieri which have done –and will continue –trainingto the Iraqi police forces”. Indeed, as mentioned during the meeting, it is currently underwaythe handover from the Iraqi armed forces to the Iraqi police forces, most of all trained by our Carabinieri: “thus, we are quite confident about their capacity to deal with the upcoming phase”.

“The ruthless terrorists…should know that they will lose their battle”, continued during the press conference. “Iraq and the whole international community will meet this challenge, not only through the International Coalition but also through the commitment of our cultural, economic and diplomatic communities”. In fact, Italy’s engagementis not limited to the military field but it includes also humanitarian support to 3 millionIDPsin Iraq, development cooperation projects and the protection of the extraordinary artistic and cultural heritage of Iraq,which is –should not be forgotten – the cradle of civilization and has a crucial role to the stability of the whole Middle East. And for this reason, “every effort in the direction of stability and prosperity for Iraq is not onlyan investment for the future but also a tribute to an extraordinary past”.

Premier Abadi expressed his warm thanks for the steady Italian support in the fight against Da’esh and the global challenges coming from terrorism, emphasizing in particular the importance of Italian training to the Iraqi police forceswhich are playing and will play a delicate and vital role in order to ensure the stabilization of the liberated areas from militia’s control. “By the end of the year, we want toexpel Da’esh from Iraq” said Abadi, recalling the continuous progress on the field.

During the meeting, it has been also addressed the thorny economic situation, since Iraq is in difficult conditions due, in particular, to the low oil price, which has a strong negative impact on national GDP.“We agreed”, said President Renzi, “that G7, G20 and the International Community pay their attention to countries like Iraq”, adding that a possible involvement of Italian economic actors will be assessed. Prime Minister Abadi, from his point of view, expressed his willingness to strengthen foreign investments and the international support, essential in fostering stability and promoting a gradual return of refugees.