Iraq PM Receives Palestinian Counterpart, Rejects ‘Deal of Century’
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced his rejection of the yet-undisclosed US peace plan – known as the “deal of the century” - aimed at resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Abdul Mahdi received in Baghdad on Monday his Palestinian counterpart, Mohammed Shtayyeh, who was in the Iraqi capital at the head of a delegation of top officials.
The Iraqi premier said that the US deal has been “bravely confronted” at the Peace to Prosperity workshop, which was hosted by Bahrain last month to discuss the plan’s economic aspect.
“Those who wanted to pass it [the deal] are now doubting the possibility of bringing it into force,” he underlined.
Abdul Mahdi stressed that his country was “totally against any settlement project in the region.”
“The issue of the Palestinian people is our main cause and we stand by them, regardless of the circumstances,” he stressed, noting that his meeting with the Palestinian premier tackled means of promoting bilateral cooperation in the fields of industry, economy and trade.
Shtayyeh, for his part, emphasized that “the unity of Iraq is necessary, not only for Palestine, but also for all Arab countries,” lauding efforts exerted by Baghdad to solve regional crises.
Iraq had boycotted the Manama conference.
The Palestinian ambassador to Iraq, Ahmed Akl, announced that the visit to Baghdad was aimed at discussing the Palestinian cause and economic partnership and joint cooperation between the two parties in all fields, including agriculture.
“This visit aims to develop memorandums of understanding between the two sides,” he said, adding it would lay solid foundations for future relations between Iraq and Palestine.
Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said the visit “seeks to open new horizons of joint cooperation between Palestine and Iraq, within the framework of the government’s strategic vision set by President Mahmoud Abbas for the gradual detachment from the occupation.”
He added: “One of the most important items on the agenda is the means to obtain Iraqi oil.”