Iraqi PM vows to tackle terrorism, corruption, economic woes

Iraqi PM vows to tackle terrorism, corruption, economic woes
2 min read
20 December, 2015
Haider al-Abadi promised to press ahead with his anti-corruption crusade Saturday, and vowed to defeat terrorism and deal with falling oil revenues, while renewing calls for Turkish troops to withdraw.
Another Christmas comes to an Iraq weighed down by terrorism, corruption and falling revenues [AFP]
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned on Saturday against what he said were attempts to instigate strife in Iraq, and accused "corrupt" politicians of seeking to undermine his efforts.

"The corrupt know that our measures will affect them, and thus stage incite people and preoccupy them with rumours to muddy the waters," he said, in reference to his government's ongoing anti-corruption campaign.

Speaking at a conference in Baghdad, Abadi also vowed his government would defeat terrorism and liberate "every inch of our land".

The Iraqi prime minister pointed out that Iraq, in addition to terrorism, was facing other serious challenges including corruption and the collpase in oil prices.

"But if we work together, we will succeed and emerge stronger," he stressed.

Turkey 'must withdraw forces'

The prime minister also affirmed Iraq would not allow Turkish forces to remain in Iraqi territories, calling on Turkey to immediately withdraw its troops from northern Iraq.

Turkey on Saturday said it would "continue" to pull its troops out of northern Iraq after US President Barack Obama urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to do so in order to de-escalate tensions with Baghdad over the deployment.

Abadi appeared skeptical about the announcement, however.

"Turkey says it will withdraw, and tells the US it will withdraw, but it is reluctant to announce it because of its problems," said the Iraqi PM, in reference to internal Turkish politics.

Turkey sent at least 150 troops into northern Iraq earlier this month, saying they were there to protect military trainers.

Turkey has deployed troops at the Bashiqa camp near Mosul - a city controlled by Islamic State (IS) - since 2014 to train Iraqi Kurdish forces.

But the Iraqi government said the latest move had been carried out without consultation and violated national sovereignty and international law.

The Turkish government enjoys close relations with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region in Iraq.