Iraqi PM from UNGA vows unwavering support for Palestine
West Asian economic and security issues headline al-Sudani's speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
During his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Iraq's Prime Minister, called on all parties violating Iraq's sovereignty to respect the country's territorial integrity, retaining the right to take necessary measures to deter any action against Iraq.
"We firmly reject any interference in our internal affairs, as stipulated by our constitution. Iraq is committed to not being used as a base for aggression against other nations. We call upon all parties to respect Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Al-Sudani's remarks come in conjunction with continued Turkish strikes on Iraqi Kurdistan and a few days after Iraq fulfilled its commitments in a security agreement reached with Tehran, where it disarmed and transferred terrorist groups from its side of the border with Iran.
The Iraqi Prime Minister said his government has "strived to develop an independent and balanced foreign policy rooted in mediating differences and embracing common interests."
He stressed that Iraq will not align itself with any particular bloc in our foreign relations, adding that it will engage with all nations based on its national interests.
Al-Sudani reaffirmed Iraq's unwavering support for the Palestinian cause, underlining Palestine's indisputable right to statehood, with the entirety of al-Quds as its rightful capital.
He also called for ending the suffering of the Syrian people, underscoring the imperative to firmly reinstate the state's authority across the entirety of Syrian territories.
Iraq to interconnect West Asian nations
"Our objective is to promote regional integration, eliminate barriers to free trade in the region, and facilitate the flow of people, goods, and capital across political borders," the top Iraqi official said.
Al-Sudani called for the harmonization of economic policies, customs tariffs, and laws, as well as infrastructural projects that would connect the West Asian region's economies.
He pointed to the Development Road Project, which is estimated to cost around $17 billion and will act as a crucial land corridor, interconnecting different Iraqi regions and forming a strategic transport line from Iraq's Grand Faw Port with Turkey.
Iraq's Prime Minister said the plan stands as the most optimal infrastructural project in the region. He added that Iraq is actively planning to host the Baghdad Conference 2023 for Economic Integration and Regional Stability.
Al-Sudani praised Iraq's "investment environment", which has been improved to embrace international investors and foster "fruitful partnerships".
He also stressed Iraq's significant role as an oil-producing giant and a key player in the global energy market.
Iraq calls on nations to aid its fight against corruption
"Identifying and combatting corruption has been our foremost priority. We have taken measures to pursue individuals involved in corruption, regardless of their positions or affiliations, and handed them over to the judiciary for accountability," al-Sudani said in his address to the UNGA.
He then called upon all friendly countries and partners to "collaborate in the fight against corruption and the recovery of stolen [Iraqi] assets."
Al-Sudani reiterated his government's plans to reform government institutions and vital sectors of Iraq's economy.