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Unemployment, wars lead to displacement, terrorism: Salih

Barham Salih
President Barham Salih said in Rome on Thursday that unemployment and conflicts leading to the displacement of millions in the Middle East are "incubators of terrorism" and lead to the influx of millions of refugees across the world.

President Salih said in his speech that "cohorts of unemployed youth and millions of displaced people living in refugee camps, in addition to poverty and wars, are all cradles of terrorism and extremism and also lead to the flight of refugees from our rich and fertile countries to the doors of Europe."

"This is an Iraqi interest as well as a Middle East interest, but it is also a European and global interest," he told the Mediterranean Dialogue Forum.

Salih said that Iraq has been torn by sanctions and wars for decades, pointing out that his country was "historically the focus of change" in the region and “a primary factor of regional stability or instability."

"We are not doomed to live in this spiral of violence," he said, calling for the consolidation of a new regional order based on security and economic development.

"The victory over ISIS was a tremendous challenge and a success for the Iraqi army," he said.

Salih also said that Iraq intends to establish a specialized reconstruction agency to focus on the implementation of certain projects, such as the construction of a deep seaport and a railway network.

He said that Iraq is planning to work with foreign entities, including international sovereign funds, international financial institutions and donor countries, to achieve development projects.

However, he added that corruption and misuse of public money are problems that undermine reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
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