During his speech to the fiftieth session of the World Economic Forum in the Davos resort of the Swiss Alps, Saleh said: “We seek good relations with everyone, and we have no interest in being drawn into conflicts that are not of our choice and our making.”
He added, “No country should seek to dictate Iraq with whom we should have relations and how,” stressing at the same time that “it is not in our interest to choose an alliance with one at the expense of others.”
Tensions have escalated between Washington and Tehran recently on Iraqi soil, as the United States assassinated the influential Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, which prompted a response from Iran, which bombed ballistic missiles, an Iraqi military base hosting American soldiers.
The Iraqi President said: Iraq owes its gratitude to the international coalition led by the United States, “especially for the military and economic support it provided, and is still providing this coalition, in the war against ISIS.” Iran also played a pivotal role in the war against ISIS. ”
He added, “Our policies and our diplomatic and economic relations must be driven by our national interests, not by the interests of others, and even by the interests of our allies.”
In an angry reaction to the American strike, the Iraqi parliament held a session on January 5 in which it voted on the government’s mandate to end the presence of foreign forces in the country, including about 5,200 American soldiers.
In this context, Saleh considered that the parliament’s call “is not a sign of ingratitude or hostility, but rather a reaction to what many Iraqis see as violations of the sovereignty of their country.”
He stressed that “this issue will be resolved through dialogue, which must be at the core of the sovereignty and stability of Iraq.”
Saleh had met US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the forum.