Iraq’s Defense Minister, Thabit Al-Abbasi, has confirmed the country’s robust relationship with Saudi Arabia, emphasizing its collaboration on security and intelligence, according to an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya on Saturday.
In an in-depth discussion, Al-Abbasi delved into various international and domestic issues impacting Iraq. Regarding the nation’s relationship with Turkey, the Defense Minister stated, “sovereignty is a red line, and a political solution is necessary for the issue of Turkish bombings.”
Ankara repeatedly strikes areas in northern Iraq to target elements of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, often resulting in civilian casualties. Al-Abbasi underscored that this situation required diplomatic intervention to preserve Iraq’s sovereignty and protect its civilians.
Turning inward, the Defense Minister stressed the necessity of eradicating unauthorized weapons, insisting on a firm policy against any weaponry outside the state’s control.
A substantial concern for Al-Abbasi is the Al-Hawl camp in Syria, which he stated has become an ISIS hotspot. The Defense Minister considers the camp a significant source of anxiety for Baghdad, urging each country to reclaim its nationals from Al-Hawl to facilitate its ultimate closure.
Baghdad has recently taken back hundreds of members from the Al-Hawl camp, and last week hosted a security conference urging all countries to repatriate their citizens from the camp. Some nations fear repatriating members linked to ISIS due to security concerns.