BAGHDAD: Iraq has called on Arab states gathered in Riyadh to reject any “aggression” against Syria, noting that the silence in response to threats facing the country will open the door to similar confrontations elsewhere.
Riyadh is hosting the 29th Arab summit on Sunday amid threats by US President Donald Trump to carry out airstrikes on Syrian regime sites in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against his people. Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari told reporters outside preparatory meetings for the summit that Iraq does not support airstrikes against Syria and considers the US threats as an intervention in its internal affairs.
“These type of weapons, and this kind of clumsy policy cannot avoid repercussions and effects,” Al-Jaafari said.
Iraq has adopted a policy of self-exclusion since Haider Abadi became prime minister in September 2014. Since then, it has refused to line up with any of the countries involved in the conflict and has been keen to act as a mediator to ease tensions.
“Iraq is calling for a united stance to reject any aggression against Syria. It is the Syrian people who choose their political system,” Ahmed Mahjoub, a spokesman for Iraq’s Foreign Ministry told Arab News from Riyadh.
“The crisis in Syria, Yemen and Libya can be solved by dialogue, away from arms, conflicts and international disputes. The approval to strike Syria may affect other countries if it is met with silence,” he said.