Kuwait urged to establish presence in Iraq




In addition, he said that the US “shares Kuwait’s concerns about the impact of Iran’s influence as well as radical Islamic terrorists in Iraq.” “But this requires the Kuwaiti government to be directly engaged,” Satterfield suggested. In answer to a question, Satterfield said sectarianism, corruption, and the militias in Iraq are corrosive and destructive to Iraqi hopes for a prosperous and stable future. Each of these challenges had been difficult to deal with, he admitted. On the issue of sectarianism, our message to the Iraqi government and to Iraq’s political leaders as well, has been that “separately, none of them can succeed. “Collectively, they all can move forward, he said.” “But you have to do it on the basis of an agenda that is national, not ethnic or sectarian, or party-based.” The senior coordinator for Iraq said that “This is a very difficult issue,” but pointed out there are some responses to this as legislation has been passed that represents a national compromise that seeks a national agenda.

However, he made it clear that more progress needs to be made on the issue of corruption. Satterfield said “this is a very pervasive problem in many developing countries, but it is particularly dangerous and damaging in Iraq because the country so needs all of its national resources applied to the national welfare. “He said this is particularly dangerous in the hydro-carbon sector. Satterfield also warned against the danger of smuggling oil from one part of Iraq to another. Equally, the senior official emphasized the importance of establishing “a clean, honest, and independent judicial system.” He noted “This has been problematic in Iraq because of the security threats. “In that respect, the US has been working to provide greater security for courts so that they would be able to operate, he affirmed. On the third pervasive issue of the threats of the militias in Iraq, Satterfield said “There should be no place in the Iraqi state for arms outside the control of the government, and that is clearly not the situation today.”

The first step to deal with that, he noted, is to bring about security and end the fighting. He declared that tremendous progress has been made in improving the security situation in the country. Furthermore, there must be progress to demobilise, disarm, and reintegrate those who were engaged in these militias into the normal life of the state, he stated. Some progress has been made in the reintegration process through the so-called awakenings movements. On the other hand, Satterfield warned against the dangers of the Shia militias as well “which must over time be disarmed and demobilised, and they, too, have to be reintegrated into normal life.”

The senior adviser to the US Secretary of State and the co-ordinator of Iraq said that the Iraqi government must act in a non-sectarian and national manner, and it must cooperate more effectively.
He denied any claims that the Iraqi government is dictated to or controlled by Iran. Satterfield told KUNA that Iraq is a country emerging from decades of “brutal domination, dictatorship, and control by Saddam Hussein and his family, and by the corrupting influence of the Baath party.” He also noted the country is emerging from “centuries of dictatorial role either from inside or from outside and from centuries of the imposition of a minority group over a majority group.”

“Overcoming the inheritance of these centuries would be difficult,” he acknowledged. Satterfield believed that these are the challenges Iraq’s leaders face today “and no one expects that reconciliation in the fullest sense can be achieved overnight. It may be a long-term process.” He insisted that what must happen is “tangible progress towards reconciliation visible to all Iraqis, and this has to be made now.” But the senior US official suggested that this is going to be a long-term goal, “but the process has to start now.” He outlined some aspects of progress that has been made, including debaathification, the national budget which provides for infrastructure investment as well as provincial government functions, and a pension law that restores pensions to many who were stripped of their benefits.



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