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Iraq's Alawi: We extend a hand to boost friendship with Iran

Baghdad, June 29, IRNA -- In his first address following power transfer in Iraq, the Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Alawi said, "We extend a hand toward Iran, Turkey and all other neighbor of Iraq for boosting friendship and cooperation with them."

Alawi who swore in as the ruler of Iraq on Monday and got his credentials from the former American civilian ruler of Iraq Paul Bremer two days prior to the previously announced date at Baghdad Conference Halls Palace, added, "We are grateful to the hospitable Iranian nation who kindly hosted a large number of Iraqi nationals for decades."

He then appreciated "the role played by countries that assisted Iraq in restoration of peace and stability following the collapse of Saddam's regime."

Alawi expressed hope that Baghdad's relations with all its neighbors would be regulated based on friendship, shared interests, and brotherhood.

The interim Iraqi prime minister said, "We need to strengthen ties with the United States, the European Union, and the Islamic and Arab countries."

He added, "We also need to take full advantage of the precious experience of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states in order to restore peace and stability in Iraq in order to secure the Iraqi nation's interests thoroughly."

He also asked the countries that Iraq owes to them to forgive Iraq's debts so that the new Iraqi regime could spend its incomes at the service of reconstruction.

Alawi considered the role played by religious authorities as "quite significant in Iraq", particularly appreciating the sagacious moves and remarks made by Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali Sistani.

Iyad Alawi also appreciated the role played by Iraqi ethnic groups in securing the territorial integrity of Iraq.

Referring to the ongoing armed clashes and "suicidal attacks" in Iraq, he said, "Such operations only claim the lives of innocent individuals and my government has no fears of the disbeliever groups that have launched an uprising against Islam and the Muslims."

Alawi added, "I know that the insurgents who are creating problems in Iraq today are the bankrupt agents of the former Iraqi regime."

The Iraqi premier emphasized, "Foreign terrorists who have taken refuge behind the Iraqi nation will eventually be annihilated."

The interim Iraqi prime minister asked the Iraqi nation to cooperate with his government in restoration of peace and stability in Iraq, requesting them to provide the country's intelligence organization any kind of information that could lead to defusing the terrorists' plots.

Referring to the current inappropriate economic conditions of Iraq, Alawi concluded, "In addition to the oil incomes of Iraq, my government counts on the country's water resources, agricultural crops, and tourism industry, and we will do so based on precise planning."

... Payvand News - 6/29/04 ... --

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