Iraq, like Azerbaijan, will become a placid country - Iraqi Charge d'Affaires Fadil Awad al-Suwayli - PHOTOS | Eurasia Diary -

19 June, Wednesday

Iraq, like Azerbaijan, will become a placid country - Iraqi Charge d'Affaires Fadil Awad al-Suwayli - PHOTOS

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Eurasia Diary interviewed Iraqi Charge d'Affaires Fadil Awad al-Suwayli.

- Mr. Ambassador, tell us about the current situation and prospects of bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Iraq. In which areas our cooperation exceeds, and how do you rate this relationship?

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Undoubtedly, Iraq and Azerbaijan have historical, intense and friendly relations. Azerbaijan is a friendly country, and the people are friendly people. We are interested in this relationship. Recently, they have received more development and we are keen to boost these ties with friendly Azerbaijan. For example, the number of those who arrived in Azerbaijan from Iraq four years ago did not increase even a hundred people. Now, with the help of God, the number of Iraqi tourists has increased to about 170,000 after our appointment. Thank Allah that there are no problems. However, there are small nuances. There are also religious relations between our countries. Citizens of Azerbaijan come to Iraq to visit religious and sacred places. Their number reaches 35-40 thousand people. This illustrates that there is extensive cooperation between the two peoples, and insha'Allah this cooperation will be long lasting.

- Both Azerbaijan and Iraq have rich reserves of oil and gas. Is Iraq interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the energy sector and what kinds of jobs are done in this area?

Frankly speaking, after Iraq has overcome terrorism and  now is engaged in peace building. We are seeking for experienced companies. It would be nice if Azerbaijani companies were also involved in this area. Of course, we would like these companies to share their experience with us. Iraq welcomes the work of all companies, both in the oil sector and in the power industry, and, as a rule, in various service areas. We welcome everyone. I reckon that in Azerbaijan there are companies with huge experience and skill. We are ready to meet with these companies, and here we do not see any obstacles. In particular, those related to the energy sphere are envisaged. In Iraq, we need mostly companies in this area. Naturally, we put forward our work experience and skill. If we receive their catalogue, we will send it to a government agency or, rather, to the office of the ministry, and the folder will be sent to the government for the company to be officially recognized, and the mechanism for its conclusion will be applied in accordance with applicable laws.

- Iraq is the closest country to us in the Arab world in many aspects. In particular, we have a lot of commitment in the field of culture. Are there any cultural events between Azerbaijan and Iraq?

There are many similarities between the Iraqi and Azerbaijani peoples. To be honest, the similarity with the Azerbaijani people reaches 80%. We have the same customs and traditions. Six or seven months ago, I participated with my wife in the engagement ceremony of a young Azerbaijani journalist. This ceremony was not very different from the Iraqi. I have been able to contemplate the same traditions and the same customs. It also shows the closeness and similarity of the two peoples. Our peoples also have extensive cultural and fraternal relations. Iraq recently participated in mugham art events. The Iraqi side also makes a constant contribution to the dialogue between cultures and civilizations. Iraqi youth actively participated in meetings of Muslim societies. All this is brilliant proof that in the field of culture, customs and traditions there are a lot of similiarities between two friendly nations.

- In recent years, a lot of work has been done to restore the infrastructure of Iraq. Do friendly and fraternal countries lend a helping hand to each other in this regard? Is Azerbaijan participating in this?

Azerbaijan is a very friendly and benevolent country. When the earthquake hit Iraq, the government of Azerbaijan provided assistance and stated that it was ready to send rescue teams and builders at the request of the Iraqi government. Azerbaijan has always been ready to support Iraq in its fight against terrorism. We also have exchange and cooperation in various fields. This cooperation needs to be further intensified, and, may Allah, we will do it in the future.

- As we mentioned above, Iraq is the closest Arab country for us. In this regard, the interest of the Azerbaijani people in the internal situation in Iraq is also great. What is the situation after the last election? As we know, Iraq faced the problem of internal refugees, like Azerbaijan faced. How does the government of Iraq will solve this problem?

Praise be to Allah, we expressed our trust to Dr. Aldil Abdulmedi 15 days ago, and the Cabinet of Ministers was organized from technocrats. We consider this the first step in a long journey for us leading to a professionally organized government. We need to reform and rebuild our infrastructure, as well as solve internal problems. I have to mention about the refugee camps, this is our priority, and we are fully engaged in this. We hope that all refugees will return to their homes with the help of God. All that the terrorist Islamic State has razed will be restored. Like Azerbaijan, Iraq will become a country of the world. These are temporary difficulties, and we hope that, like Azerbaijan, we will overcome them.

- Like Iraq, Azerbaijan is a country that encountered with occupation and terror. As you know, Armenia has occupied 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan and is destroying our historical and cultural heritage. What is the position of Iraqi Republic towards this invasion? How do you evaluate cooperation in this field at the international level, especially within the framework of international organizations?

As you know, the UN Security Council has four resolutions on the Karabakh issue. Iraq has always supported the resolutions of the UN Security Council. Iraq has never left its position regarding these resolutions. We are always with Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan is a friendly country for us. But wars are always devastative and lead to major disasters. Even the winner of the war gets a loss. The government of Azerbaijan, along with its sound mind and its wisdom, is a government with deep political thinking, talent and diplomatic skill. It can save its people from war. I think Dialogue is a more beautiful and more efficient way, and Azerbaijan is an adherent of peaceful and diplomatic talks. If the UN resolutions on Karabakh are in favour of Azerbaijan, there will be a lot of work and the problem will be solved in the framework of peaceful and mutual resolutions.

Interviewed by Hashim Mammadov

Eurasia Diary








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