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Riyadh: No place in Iraq for sectarian militias

This March 26, 2015 file photo shows Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) allied with Iraqi forces against the Daesh, carry their weapons as they prepare to attack Tikrit in the Iraqi town of Ouja, on the southern outskirts of Tikrit. (REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)
RIYADH: There is no place for armed sectarian forces in Iraq, Saudi Arabia reiterated on Monday.
The Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq is a sectarian group led by Iranian officers, headed by Qassim Suleimani, said Saudi Foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir, following a high-level meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.
The talks focused on security issues and terrorism.
Al-Jubeir emphasized the importance of supporting the unity, stability, and Arab identity of Iraq.
He said: “With regard to the Popular (Mobilization) Forces … if we want Iraq to be unified and to see equality between different Iraqi groups, there is no place for armed sectarian forces.”
Al-Jubeir pointed out that a coordination council between Riyadh and Amman has been working on protecting joint interests in the fields of security, namely combating terrorism and smuggling, and political coordination regarding the peace process in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
His remarks came during a press conference held on Monday with Judeh, who is also Jordan’s deputy premier.
“We are keen to carry out any anti-terror operation across the Iraqi border,” Al-Jubeir said.
Al-Jubeir said both countries intend to boost established coordination and ties, which aim to strengthen work within an institutional framework and ensure ongoing coordination and communication.
He said he looks forward to the success of the Arab summit due to be held in Jordan next March.
Judeh said he had delivered an invitation to King Salman from King Abdallah of Jordan to attend the summit.
Judeh said that all Jordanians and people in the wider Arab world are looking forward to the success of the summit. He added that preparations for it are in full swing.
“The attacks that occurred in Jordan last week saw the Jordanian people standing together against terrorism and in coalition with security authorities. With their help, we were thankfully able to avoid potentially more challenging issues,” Judeh said.
He said: “Terrorism has no place in our world, and terrorists are present, but with our firmness, perseverance and coordination, God willing, we will eliminate all those who aim to harm our countries, people, security, and who aim to destroy the image of our peaceful religion.”
Al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia and Jordan “have both suffered from terrorism, most recently from the incident in Karak, and Saudi Arabia has expressed its support for its brothers in Jordan and efforts in the country to fight such issues.”

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