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Iraq’s president warns fight against terrorism far from over

Barham Salih, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq (World Economic Forum/Flickr)

The fight against terrorism is far from over in Iraq despite the country freeing its cities from Daesh, President Barham Salih said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, Salih said that “transnational extremism continues to exist in the forms of sleeping cells scattered across Iraq including the desert regions,” and that the country cannot let its guard down now.

He added that Iraq should not underestimate the danger represented by terrorism and the possibility that it may reemerge.

The president said he hoped to receive aid from friendly countries to help stop the financing of lawless organizations and extremism.

He added that low oil prices and the economic consequences of COVID-19 have caused major challenges to Iraq but that it continues to fight the pandemic.

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Iraq has recently recorded several thousand new coronavirus infections each day, and the total now exceeds 300,000.

More than 8,000 people have died in the country so far and doctors are terrified of being attacked by the relatives of those who have died from the disease.

Salih also spoke about another scourge that has ravaged his country for years — endemic corruption.

He said the problem had “contributed to the destruction of Iraq for many years.”

Iraq is trying to tackle corruption and corrupt individuals and elections due to be held next year are a result of the demands of protesters for change, he said.

The elections must be free and fair, Salih said. He added that he hoped the UN would provide technical assistance to ensure transparency.

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© 2020 the Arab News