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Daily updates: PM says co-op required for long-term security between Baghdad, Erbil

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Salih, Masjedi talk cooperation despite regional alliance against Tehran


President Barham Salih has received at As-Salam Palace in Baghdad Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi, shortly after Salih announced rejecting alignment against Iran in the Arab emergency summit held in Saudi Arabia's Macca.

During the meeting, they discussed the latest political developments in the countries of the region and Arab countries, according to a statement by Salih's office. They also discussed ways to strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation between Iran and Iraq.

"The stance of Iraq and the [way] it tackles the crisis in the region stems from the independence of its national decision and its clear policy to protect the region from escalation and further tensions and crises, in a way that preserves [Iraq's] national interests and protect the stability achieved for Iraqis and the peoples of the region," Salih stated, according to the statement.

The President also stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral relations between Iraq and Iran and discussed ways to develop them. 

For his part, Masjedi reiterated his country's support for Iraq and its keenness to promote cooperation between the two countries, praising Iraq's stances at international and regional levels.




Iraq appeals to foreign diplomats to take home their 'ISIS children'





Iraqi Forces Coalition urges PM to stop forced displacement in Diyala


Iraqi Forces Coalition called on Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi to intervene to stop the forced displacement of civilians in the villages near Abu Sayda in Diyala.

The forced displacement started recently in the village of Abu Khanazeer in Diyala, a statement by the coalition said.

The coalition said that civilians in the village have "lost trust" in the security forces and authorities in charge of their protection, after failing to prevent or arrest the militia members who killed three citizens of one family in the village on Saturday. 

The coalition also warned of "the plans to make demographic changes adopted by foreign agendas that aim at planting divisions between the components of Iraqi society," the coalition said.

It called on the prime minister to bring the perpetrators of Saturday's massacre to justice to receive fair punishment.




Iraq death sentences a 'disgrace' for France: lawyers



The execution of nine French jihadists on death row in Iraq would be a disgrace for France and leave an "indelible stain" on the mandate of President Emmanuel Macron, a group of prominent French lawyers said Monday.

With controversy growing in France over the sentences handed out to the nine for joining ISIS extremist group, the 40 lawyers urged Paris to keep the men alive, irrespective of their crimes.

A court sentenced two more French citizens to death on Sunday, meaning that nine French jihadists are now at risk of execution in the country.

"We have taken a historic risk, which, if it is realized, will leave an indelible stain on the mandate of Emmanuel Macron," said the lawyers, who included some of the country's best known legal professionals such as William Bourdon, Henri Leclerc and Vincent Brengarth.

It would mean allowing a "legal assassination which is now proscribed by the majority of countries on the planet with the exception of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, China and the United States," said the open letter, published on the website of radio station Franceinfo.

"It equates to renouncing our engagements by permitting the overseas implementation of the death penalty," they added.

"It would be a great disgrace for our country to make these death sentences possible."

The French citizens were handed over to Iraqi authorities in January by a US-backed force fighting the jihadist group in Syria.

Hearings for the last two suspected French ISIS members to be tried in Baghdad were set for Monday.

France has long insisted its adult citizens captured in Iraq or Syria must face trial before local courts, while stressing its opposition to capital punishment.

French government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye insisted Sunday that officials were intervening "at the highest level" in the cases.




At least 6 PKK members killed in northern Iraq

 



Turkish security forces killed a PKK member in northern Iraq as part of Operation Claw, Turkish Defense Ministry said on Monday.

So far 28 terrorists have been killed in Hakurk region since the operation began against the PKK group on May 27, the Turkish ministry tweeted.

Separately, Turkish airstrikes neutralized at least five PKK members in the Zap region of northern Iraq.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including many women and children. 




Iraqi court sentences two French men to death for being ISIS fighters



An Iraqi court has sentenced two French men to death after finding them guilty of being members of ISIS, a prosecutor told Reuters. 

Iraq is conducting trials of thousands of suspected ISIS fighters, including hundreds of foreigners, with many arrested as the group’s strongholds crumbled. 

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has said France respects Iraqi sovereignty, but opposes the death penalty. 

Sunday’s sentences bring the number of French citizens facing the death penalty in Iraq to nine, the prosecutor said, adding that another three are due to stand trial on Monday. 

“There was sufficient evidence to hand down a death sentence. They both were fighters of the terrorist ISIS organization,” the prosecutor said of the convictions, which can be appealed. 

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday that France was intensifying diplomatic efforts to prevent four of its citizens being executed in Iraq after they were sentenced to death for belonging to ISIS. 

All the nine French men convicted so far were extradited to Iraq in February and military sources at the time said that 14 French citizens were among 280 Iraqi and foreign detainees handed over by the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).




Salih calls to keep Iraq away from regional conflicts

 



President Barham Salih has called for keeping Iraq away from regional conflicts.

During a meeting with US Charge d’Affaires Joey Hood, Salih called for establishing a stable regional system based on joint security, respecting sovereignty and refraining from meddling in the affairs of other countries.

“The Iraqi stance from regional crisis stems from its commitment to its national policies,” Salih said.

He also highlighted the need to build balanced ties with all countries based on the respect of sovereignty and mutual interests, adding that Iraq has been keen on following constructive dialogue in tackling regional crises.




PM says co-op required for long-term security between Baghdad, Erbil



Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has stressed that cooperation between all parties is required for long-term security solutions in the disputed territories between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

A statement by the prime minister’s office said Abdul-Mahdi led a meeting of the Iraqi National Security Council, which included the acting governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Jabouri, along with commanders of security operations in Kirkuk.

The meeting tackled the predicament of Kirkuk considering the recent incidents that have taken place in the city and its surroundings.

“For effective actions to take place, all political entities must be engaged in the process,” Abdul-Mahdi said, stressing the importance of a sincere, sustained dialogue between all parties with no isolated representatives.

There has been a deteriorated security situation in Kirkuk has considerably since the Iraqi military carried out an operation in October 2017, which drove the Kurdish Peshmerga out of Kirkuk in the wake of the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum.




Islamic Dawa party office attacked, a day after Communist party



An explosive device has targeted the Dawa Party headquarter in Basra a day after targeting the Iraqi Communist Party in Basra with a hand grenade.

No human casualties were recorded after both incidents.

A security force said in press remarks that security forces were deployed at the scene and raised the level of alert in case of any emergency.

Led by former Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, the Islamic Dawa Party maintains strong ties with Iran and currently holds 25 seats in Iraq’s 329-seat Parliament.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.



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