Iraqi President’s Speech in the Arab-European Summit at Sharm el-Sheikh

Monday 25th February 2019 - 15:50

Iraqi President’s Speech in the Arab-European Summit at Sharm el-Sheikh

 el-Sheikh

Iraqi President Barham Salih asserted that “Actual victory, that has been achieved against the direct threat of terrorism and its radical ideology, still demands a lot from us and theregional countries, as well as from the whole world, for it to be steadfast, decisive and everlasting.” 

In the speech he delivered in the Arab-European Summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Dr. Salih went on to say that common backgrounds in the historic Arab-European neighborhood, and the prerequisites for Economic and Cultural integration, impose themselves on everybody and press towards embracing  joint action so as to enable our nations of marching together towards the future.”

Below is the full speech:

In the name of Allah, the most gracious most merciful,

Your Excellency Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Your Excellency Mr. Donald Tusk

Your Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I feel honored being here, in beloved Egypt, to attend this summit which we believe to be very important under such delicate circumstances.

The common backgrounds in the historic Arab-European neighborhood, and the prerequisites for Economic and Cultural integration, impose themselves on everybody and press towards embracing joint action so as to enable our nations of marching together towards the future.

Countries in the region face the challenges of terrorism and violence, of migration and unemployment, along with the political tensions that display themselves in more than one place to portend of what could be even worse. Our European friends have other challenges, at varying levels, to tackle. Nevertheless, we all have great expectations to sustain and develop our partnership and join efforts to achieve (Euro-Arab) cooperation that should contribute in growing and developing common relationships and uproot all sources of terrorism and extremism.

I come from Iraq, a country that faced up bravely to the threats of terrorism, embodied by ‘Daish’, and succeeded in undermining and defeating it through embracing the principle of ‘Regional and International Cooperation’. Victory was the inevitable fruit of Iraqi’s determination and their will to defend their homeland and cities. All along there had been the important and undeniable supporting role of the international coalition and neighboring countries that we will never forget.

But here, in Iraq, we realize that the eventual and decisive victory upon the direct threat of terrorism and its radical ideology still demands much more from us before it becomes steadfast, decisive and everlasting. There is no doubt that military force and security measures are all essential and important in the face of terrorist challenges, but what is more important still are the cultural and economic initiatives, good governance and development, empowering women and protecting the environment in drying up the resources for which extreme ideologies draw.

The catastrophe in Syria must be stopped, all efforts must be unified to uproot terror and widen the opportunities towards political solutions based on the free national will of our Syrian brothers and sisters themselves.

In Libya too, so near to the European costs, people deserve to enjoy stability and start building a democratic state.

There should be emphasis, no doubt, on taking the right and responsible actions in order to reach a just solution for the Palestinian people in having their independent Palestinian state on their national soil that is based on the principals of international legitimacy and Security Council resolutions.

We also believe in the importance of concerted efforts to end the suffering of Yemeni people through working up on peace opportunities and constructive national dialogue.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Iraq is just emerging from its battle with terrorism and it can see that   reconstruction and development are the most important elements necessary in consolidating victory, which will enable us of recalling displaced people and emigrants. This is common interest for both Iraq and other countries in the region and Europe as well as in the world, as far aseconomic feasibility is concerned, interests that will be offered through investment and construction. It is obvious also that to tackle the migration phenomena and its fallout will depend on removing their causes in the area and providing the supportive environment for sustainable development.

Iraq, with its leading role in the war against terrorism and extremism, with its strategic location and resources and urgently demanded reconstruction, will be looking forward to be a field of reconciliation for regional nations rather than a field for their rivalries and score settling. Iraq also, thanks to its Arabic and Gulf depth and Islamic vicinity, with all its human and natural resources, can be very instrumental in reuniting the region and easing its tensions.

Our vision for our national interests and immediate development needs is based on protecting Iraq sovereignty and stability, and distancing ourselves from the axes policies, keeping only with security, peace, and rebuilding of Iraq and countries of the region. Therefore, we look forward towards having an effective involvement in establishing a new and stable system in the region on the basis of common security and economic integration achieved through interconnecting infrastructures and defusing any reasons that may lead to tensions or conflicts.

Our European neighbors had to suffer the burden of two world wars before emerging as a free and developed Europe, that was achieved through creating a system of common economic interests and common cultural, and political values.

On the opposite coasts of the Mediterranean the greatest civilizations rose, and it is our obligation now towards the past and the present that we should work together. In the conclusion of my speech I wish to emphasize, through this summit, on our call for comprehensive cooperation that is devoted for mutual interests in development and security among these neighboring, or coast to coast, countries overlooking two vitally important seas in the region, namely the Mediterranean and the gulf. When this part of the world enjoys security and prosperity the whole world stability will settle depending on this region.

Our meeting today on the land of Egypt involves deeper meaning, for it is on this land, along with its sister Mesopotamia, that the oldest human civilizations were born between the continents of Asia and Africa. Egypt too is the important country that overlooks the Mediterranean opposite to Europe. Such a location enabled Egypt of having a great cultural role in the past, and will enable her to be of a great role in the present and future too in the context of strengthening regional cooperation and dialog among all three continents.

The vital effort exerted by Egypt and the Arab League and the European system deserves our highest esteem and appreciation. But this in the end is not alien to Egypt or its great people. Such warmth, such hospitality in embracing our hopes for a future that befits our nations.

Thank you Egypt

Thank you Mr. President

Thank you everyone