Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi during bilateral meetings at the Prime Minister's Palace in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, December 19, 2018. (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

Joint Press Statement with Adil Abd Al-Mahdi , Prime Minister of Iraq

Transcript
20 Dec 2018
Iraq
Prime Minister, Prime Minister of Iraq
E&OE

Photo: AAP Image/David Mariuz

PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ ADIL ABD AL-MAHDI: In the name of God the merciful, the benevolent, we renew our welcome to his excellency Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison. In our first meeting, we discussed the relations between the two countries and we discussed the important security cooperation regarding the liberation of Iraq from Da’esh and liberating also the area. Also we discussed the importance of the economic trade relations, cultural relations, to serve the interests of our countries and people and also to enhance… to promote security and stability in Iraq. And we also discussed the situation in the region and the importance of… that Iraq should have good relations with all countries of the region and the friendly countries to Iraq.

There is no doubt that terrorism and poverty is a common enemy to our countries and people. We thank Australia as a country and people and Government to stand with Iraq and its war against Da’esh. We hope to continue cooperating and we hope even to promote this cooperation to include more fields and sectors for the interests of our two countries. Iraq, your excellency, is looking forward for a wide participation of Australian companies and investors, those well-known companies, which are well known of their capabilities and the investment and reconstruction and to find job opportunities for Iraqis to promote stability. Because the stability of Iraq is the stability of the region, and the stability of the region would be stability for the whole world.

Iraq is a diverse country in terms of religion, nationality, or maybe even culture and even civilisation. And Iraq has one of the oldest civilisations. That’s why this diversity needs peaceful coexistence and needs maybe some support and understanding by all our friends for the importance of making use of this diversity in order to have more relations. We think that Australia knows the dimensions of this situation. Sometimes people might think that this diversity reflects some conflicts but we had such experiences I think that now everyone know that diversity is such a great thing to reach the unity. We look for all our citizens on the basis of national identity. Diversity has such a nurturement and powerful feel… factor to the country that we are looking for and investing in it.

We are keen to have balanced relations with the countries of the world, especially countries of… our neighbouring countries. The Constitution of Iraq is written by Iraqis. We have democracy and we had elections in a very peaceful way. So this experience is such a good experience in the region, so it should be supported and encouraged in order to encourage the whole region and to attain stability in the region. Iraq does not want to be a base or path for terrorism. Iraq is not going to use its lands to launch any attacks but we would like to build friendships with all countries based on mutual respect and mutual interests, according to the United Nations convention. Thank you your excellency for visiting Iraq and we welcome you once again and we would like to hear your remarks.

PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA SCOTT MORRISON: As-Salaam-Alaikum.

PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ ADIL ABD AL-MAHDI: Wa-Alaikum-Salaam.

PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA SCOTT MORRISON: It is a great pleasure and privilege to be here with you, Prime Minister, and to congratulate Iraq and the Iraqi people for its brave fight against extremism. And in doing so, we acknowledge the great suffering that the Iraqi people have experienced over this time of their brave fight.

Australia is a friend of a free, independent and sovereign Iraq and that has always been our goal and our motive in seeking to support Iraq in these difficult years and over a sustained period of time. We have been here for some years and the invitation of Iraq and we remain here at your invitation, seeking to support you with your goals. And I congratulate you again on your election as Prime Minister and as you’ve continued to form your Government. And I also congratulate you on your emphasis in your remarks particularly today on the inclusive nature of how you’re seeking to rebuild the economy of your country to ensure that all Iraqis, wherever they live, whatever their backgrounds, that they are able to participate in Iraq’s future in an equal way and to have the same opportunities. Whether it is for a job, for their health, for their education, these basic things that we would want for all Iraqis and I know you want for all Iraqis as well.

So we want to encourage you in that process, whether it’s the work we’re doing through our humanitarian aid. Since 2014 Australia and over the next few years will have invested some 180 million Australian dollars in supporting the humanitarian effort here in Iraq and we will continue to do that, of course, as Iraq continues to improve and progress then the nature of Australia’s arrangements and support will change. But that is a reflection of the progress that is being made and nothing other than that. Our friendship and our support remains just as strong.

So I want to thank you again for the opportunity to come here and visit with you today. I wish you and your Government, and the Iraqi people most importantly, every success. You have been brave in the face of extremism and now it requires a new form of bravery to build that economy. With so many young people in Iraq defiant and have hope for their future and a job. Jobs are as important in Iraq as they are in Australia, and we’re both committed to seeing more jobs and I look forward to seeing that happen here in Iraq as well as back home. So thank you very much for your hospitality today, it’s been a great pleasure to be here and to meet with your party and particularly with yourself. Thank you.