tv U.S. Institute of Peace Discussion on Iraq CSPAN March 30, 2019 4:12am-5:04am EDT
and, reason.com editor at large nick gillespie talks about americans trust in government. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern saturday morning. joined the discussion. >> on capitol hill next week, the house will consider reauthorization of the violence against women act, which expired in february. it provides resources for victims and includes provision on domestic violence and firearms. members are expected to take up a senate passed resolution for involvement in yemen's civil war. in the senate, were continues, disasters. also a resolution that would shorten the amount of time the senate considers nominations. once the house, live on c-span and the senate live on c-span two. iraq speaker of the council
of are presented as talked about the new cabinets priorities. here is a portion of the discussion as he answers questions from the moderator and audience. the u.s. institute of peace posted this event. >> mister speaker thank you very much. thank you for those comments. you have had a very busy visit here in washington dc, so far. i understand you have had meetings with speaker pelosi, with secretary pompeo, vice president pence, members of congress, other members of congress, acting defense secretary shanahan.
can you give us a flavor of how those conversations have gone, and how you see this visit, setting the stage for the future relationship between the united states and iraq? >> thank you. >> translator: we found a very much welcoming here in the united states. they welcomed us greatly. and i am sure that these conversations will contribute to help peoples, the americans and iraqis. and the joint efforts that there have been and still going on between the united states and iraq, and generals with the international community.
we were partners in the fight against i.s.i.s., just like i said, we defeated this extremist organization, with the help of everybody in the international coalition. led by the united states, and we appreciate that very much. not right here that the areas does not mean, that we eliminated terrorism in general. there must be continuous support from the international community, to finish not only this terrorist organization as we did militarily, but, the extremist ideology, which will lead us to somehow support for the logistics, this is very
important, for the armed forces. there is a big understanding in iraq, but over three presidencies in iraq, the executive branch, the legislative branch, led by the prime minister and his excellency, of the republic, we are all united in our effort to work with the international partners, and international coalition, to defeat this extremist organization, once and for all. so, in the next phase, it is not militarily more of an intelligence-based effort, the forces and to somehow attack their funding, is the extremist ideology, and, financial from
all of these efforts. there are so many bodies that hurt iraq because they gave i.s.i.s., and incubated to flourish. tracking down this organization, countries could be behind them, we need to follow up and attack them somehow from these aspects. the united states is welcoming of course, the conversation with speaker pelosi and vice president and acting secretary, all of them, they are so much on the same page to help iraq and work hand-in-hand, to work
in all aspects towards economy, investment, and security command militarily efforts, and partnerships, to finish off the extremist ideology. and, reconstruction of the liberated area, and work opportunity. this is exactly what our conversations contained, and i found a very great positive vibe from the united states. >> let me build on that, because, many people, i think, are looking with some concern, and how to make sure that i.s.i.s. does not come back. you mentioned several ways that you are approaching it. what about the role of reconciliation, of ensuring that there is a sense of
inclusion, you talk about the three presidencies, and the commitment. what do you view as the status of national reconciliation, as a means of ensuring that i.s.i.s. ideology does not come back, and what do you think should be done about that? >> translator: there are too many elements. to stop the return of i.s.i.s. or we have to deal with the causes that brought this organization and this ideology, this extremist ideology, social and humanitarian issues. we need to deal with that, starting with the social quality for opponents in iraq and providing services, two iraqi citizens in general. and then also, as the idp camps
clearly, they could be somehow effected. they could be somehow a window for a terrorist organization to come back, and see fertile ground, for example, like the disease and minority christians, there are so many living in those camps. it is difficult, very difficult. they live in a very difficult situations, and they could be very fragile in terms of, tempted, or somehow targeted, for the return of the extremist ideology. we are hopefully waiting for the partnership and support from the united states and international community.
we cannot take it on the shoulder alone but we are waiting for help and support from services in other ways. clearly, i see that there are differences within the international community, before the elections. we have to say, like i point out, that this was delayed from the international community before 2018, some of the donor countries, we are actually in a race with time to bring back donor countries somehow to get involved and indulge in our support, but to keep it open- ended, and stop implementing,
and doing the walk and talk. it is going to be tough. but as you say the re- consultation has to come in two parts. one, from the bottom up and one from the political parties. the first starts from the areas that were subject to the occupation of i.s.i.s., this has to be dealt with. i think that we with the people, we made sure that we brought that, i will give you an example. a family of six or seven, seven people and one of them, firstly, he drugged out with those organizations. these organizations, they do not care about the family, they have very strange ideology.
we had to bring back these families to their homelands, with their promise that they never return back and get with one of those organizations. we taught them how to reeducate them awareness, to know how they rebuild their areas, and to reconcile with the people who never would be subjected with the organization, the terrorist organization. whether they were militants, or whether they were civilians. that is what we are bringing together. we need the support of the international community, and i
would say, in a component with the plane and these areas, they are so much interacted with each other. these components, we have to start at the political level, of course from the top down. we will work with the governments and international community, to split the humanity aspect from the elector aspect. any pragmatic election issue, they have all the rights to elect anyone that they feel that would represent them, whether it could affect negatively, but we have to effects that, whatever they
want to elect or humanitarian intellection aspects,. >> you just covered a lot of ground, let me take a couple of strands forward. the first follow-up, is, you mentioned religious minorities or components as you say in iraq. you are truly facing existential concerns. >> just a moment. >> you mentioned, the religious minorities, or components, as they are called in iraq, who are facing what many consider to be existential challenges. this is clearly a topic of some focus within iraq here within the united states as well.
how do you -- how are you as a speaker and other political leaders approaching the concern of the religious community, about their ability to exist in iraq. their security concerns, their inclusion in the decision- making? >> translator: as soon as i assume as a speaker, yes. i am from one component, but i am surely not working for only one component. i work for all components interact. one of my priorities, at the parliament, i am reconnecting with the is 80 components, and other minorities, christian minorities.
with the religious leaders or political leaders, i continuously worked with them, to let them know that all their presentation is completely for iraqis. one of iraqis characteristics is that iraq has multiple components, arabs, turks, everybody. what we find is that iraq is distinguished from others is that it contains all these components. we are working to bring them back to areas apart from the political differences, whether it is the planes, or -- to have
exactly a representation in the state institutions, just like the other mps that i mentioned, that they have real representation. there is one of the christian minute investors, other women aspect as well. we are working to appoint a lady, a woman minister, apart from state institutions, including security institutions. we want them to enter the state institutions, this way they will protect their own areas, so that they can be in there a little areas and contributors to do the security portfolio in these areas. >> we -- i will intersperse
questions from the audience, with mine, we have quite a few here. on this topic we have a question asking, could you comment on the challenge of nonlocal security forces, in christian areas in the plans? >> >> translator: yes. i quickly pointed out to talk about these people, they residential or those areas to be contributors in the army, in the security, national security. and the intelligence, in all
these services, we want them to protect their own areas. we have an action from the prime minister, to have a presentation from these components, inside. as i said it is a political problem, not a political problem. everybody wants to control this area, electoral, i don't deny that there also is an external intervention, to affect these areas. but what we are doing is working in these areas, to have their own people get involved in all these institutions. >> let me follow up on that, because iraq's popular globalization forces played a very large role in the fight
against i.s.i.s. and, there are many who view their role with much appreciation. there are others who have concerns that these groups may have links to iran, they could undermine the iraqi state long- term. what do you see as the future of the popular militias? >> yes. pmf is a group, of volunteers. his >> translator: who answer the highest supreme religious fatwa in iraq. they offered a lot of sacrifices in this area. some of them, are linked to the pmf, and there is a direction from the iraqi security on
force to deal with this, you have only one unified commander ship. some of the groups, in some areas but not only in these areas. i repeat again, and reiterate it is a political problem, not security. there are so many parties, and international services who enter into these areas. and we hope that we will solve this problem locally and internationally, or externally. international intervention will somehow hit an imbalance in this area. some of them are, i tell you like either christians, or is edie's, are part of the members
of the pmf, use it to attack their opponents. we tell the police that they are only loyal to the country. to the state institution, not to one component or the other. it is not welcome from the people of the area, but, iraq alone cannot face this challenge. the i.s.i.s., when the occupied part of iraq. they pressured iraq and some other countries using this aspect. just to follow up on the pmf, points, there is the armed forces, commander ship of the armed forces are trying to rearrange the pmf organization structure, to have in every
provincial area, the pmf would be supported by either the federal armed forces, or other forces from iraq, to be supported with them in those areas. >> a bit of a follow-up question comes from our audience, which is, what impact, does iran have, on iraq's politics? either positive or negative. how do you see the impact of around? i would add, you have a lot of regional neighbors, active in iraq, how do you balance those influences? external actors?
>> translator: i'm sorry, can i see you post this question please and stand up? oh my gosh. >> translator: these countries including iran, they always always interfere for their own interests. and you know, iraq is always having problems whether it is local or international problems. for most of the other regional countries interfere.
negatively, not positively. and, would not hinder iraq, i mean, would hinder iraq going forward in progress in its own way. as i said, earlier in my speech, iraq's first strategy, that is what we want. to adhere, and be careful that our common interests and respect each other, this is a fixture, and it is not only a slogan, a political slogan. we want this tool to be implanted in effect, with full sovereignty, no intervention whatsoever from regional or elsewhere. in the past, we used to take this direction, is like, what they want from iraq. u.s. or turkey or anybody, now, what we want, what iraq wants
from jordan or the gulf countries, or from turkey or the international community. based on the common interest, we are working to have all these postal relations, for example, our relationship with the united states. does not get dissected with the people or the country that is neighboring iraq. that is what we are trying to do. it is not trying to put them in conflict with each other. our trend in our force, in iraq will contribute to the stability of the region. including, iran. the strongest powerful iraq will contribute to the regional stability of these neighboring countries. any negative impact
on iraq. probably a sectarian intervention. some of them ethical. -- ethnical. now we go as one iraq. all components of iraq, other than one iraq. everyone wants a special interest of these countries, we welcome all components in in iraq to have iraq first. >> let's stay with the neighborhood for a moment. on your other border, the long border with syria, there have been recent exchanges, between civilian and military leaders, baghdad, damascus, we have other questions from the audience on syria. the question is, what is your
assessment, of the direction of events in syria, what is your position towards the reintegration of the week? what is the impact of this on iraq. >> translator: syria is the brother in arab country. what syria has been objected to as a tax is not very much longer term. it is very important, that syria be back to the arab league, then to go somewhere else. syria is part of the arab world, and for the syrians, they have good positions with iraq, before 2003 and after 2003. before 2003, me personally, they adopted the resistance.
when i was subject to terrorist attacks and targeting, i found that the syrians welcomed iraqis and welcomed me. and we have to return back that phase. and strengthen their unification's, to have the people of syria to support those who decide their own political future, and who is going to be their leader, that is their own decision, and it is for our benefit, that iraq and syria, to clear syria from all terrorist and extreme organizations. we have to have them back, as a participant with the international community i myself invited the speaker in syria, to come to iraq and
visit iraq in april, to have the joint conversation with him , at the parliament level extending an invitation, to other speakers of neighboring countries, to bring it all this way, syria will come back to the arab league, the arab world, the international participant and effective dispense in the international community. >> one more question about iran. this is about iran wavering, given the importance of electricity to iraq, in particular also very important for business development in iraq. do you expect future waivers from the united states on iranian sanctions? to allow electricity
development? >> the situation in iraq is distinguished and different. >> translator: how to deal with iran, then every other countries dealing with iran. 1400 km is our borderline with iraq. we do not want any problems, between iraq and iran, just like we don't want any problems between iraq and turkey, or iraq and jordan, or anybody else. unfortunately until now, we have not come up economically in iraq. we are still importing power and electricity from iran.
i think 30% of what we using iraq is imported from neighboring countries. even though we are always a producer, we are still using the shaded with -- we still are affirmative in the use of that. what is the alternative? if we don't have sanctions with us. we have a breather somehow, we can use, we are again, all sanctions by the way, but we are trying to have our own purely economic and sovereign
economic from our own decision- makers. hopefully, i think, this waiver will be extended in order to allow iraq to stand up economically, until it takes probably with these three years. after maybe when we see and look at iraq as economically independent, and we don't need to import power or electricity from the neighboring country, maybe we can address this issue after three years. but, as of now, we are working to have iraq independently in economic aspect. >> so, we have a number of
questions going back to the question of i.s.i.s. and, one questioner says that some experts believe that iraq is back to a pre-i.s.i.s. situation, in terms of the resurgence of i.s.i.s. ideology. and, the question is, what are the practical steps being taken to ensure that the concerns of the sunnis are taken into account, that there is more inclusion, another related question, is, what would iraq like other countries, western and middle eastern countries to do in terms of taking back their citizens, who were involved with i.s.i.s.? and, i would ask for your assessment, what is the magnitude of the problem? of
the i.s.i.s. fighters and their families who are detained in iraq? >> iran in my electoral campaign in one of the largest areas. yes everybody had civic duties, and responsibilities. but, we believe that all people have to contribute to build this iraq, and then the iraqis institutions would give everybody an equal voice.
this has some well -- somehow found an ear to have everybody have a component, to have participants in all the state institutions. and administering of security. without having disappointed, second-class citizens, there have been sectarian differences or medication, rather partisan dissemination. and some would have more influence with one party than others. if they were not somehow beneficiaries of that area in the past. but, purely they only work from
a partisan vision. these conflicts, in the inequality, implementation of law on some and not others, services support that go to one problem and not the other, as well as international intervention, supporting one province and not the others. these problems created problems between provincial and ministration, and the government. but, we are working on that. they did not have a representation for those components in those provinces, or to have a partnership with their brethren provinces or the
external level. now that we have to have a quality in our society, to have a fair share for everyone, so the components should not feel that they are second-class citizens. none of them, no component. would differentiate one citizen from the other for her performance or his performance but not the idea of the person. just like i mentioned before, to stop them from provoking or inciting the people who were oppressed. someone who took advantage of oppressors and this is what we want to stop, because it continues to be a threat to the
security in these provinces and regions, whether it is a human or ideology, or finance for military.expect everybody i tak responsibility as the speaker and -- responsibility. the prime minister, everyone has to take responsibility to establish civic equality. this phase is different than every phase before. [ inaudible ] the only thing this came out of defeat of isis because all iraqis came united. they are united at as one group
we don't have to go back to square zero. we have to support the provinces equally and to stop funding the external ideology in all of iraq like you said ms. nancy, the fighters, anyone militant that contributed or hurt iraq is directly or indirectly will face justice in iraq and the iraq he justice is basically straight to the terrorism act, some probably where isis fighters outside of iraq if they had impact or directly were involved inside iraq he territory [
indiscernible - low volume ] i think the punishment is really really harsh, different than someone who -- others western nationals they will be -- by their own countries. i think everybody knows how to bring back their nationals and iraq will be so careful in taking to justice all of these militants but also their countries know exactly how to apply their own justice on their own -- [ indiscernible - low volume ] this extreme organizations that hurt iraq. we will ask for compensation
from foreign nationals [ indiscernible - low volume ] iraq directly or indirectly. this is the -- to compensate families whose lost their properties and lost family members all because of this fight. >> we are running low on time and i want to squeeze in two more questions. we have a number of questions related to the relationship between baghdad and --. maybe you could comment on whether you think the new parliament will bring any developments on the issue of article 140 and maybe you could briefly say if you think it will and how that is important. >> [ inaudible ] >> the second question?
>> the second question ms. nancy? >> the second question is a good question to and with. >> i will answer -- >> okay. >> it is a good ending question. >> the relationship between baghdad and -- [ inaudible ] it was somehow -- now i think it is much much better than how it was before. there is an in baghdad to have understanding with the -- region and vice versa the same thing with relationship to everything. since 2014 every year we had problems with the budget because it was not clear every
year it comes back and we said the same thing, how can we have this positive impact? every now and then every year it comes back but this year it is much much better. we have somehow compromised from baghdad to -- to baghdad. to agree as of 2019 we agreed to have resolved open any pending problems between the two. the biggest one is the oil problem. there are clear differences on contracts and for example the
contracts are partnership contracts and in baghdad in is like -- from baghdad part of it is the service how to service these contracts. how will we negotiate in the next phase as a political party or [ indiscernible - low volume ] entity? we have to work on that. there will always be problems but both sides have to compromise in order to service the iraq he people and the -- people. the intention is always there, the intentions are always there to resolve these problems. i think because is busy in
their formation because of the government after this hopefully before 2020 according to our schedule from the back:schedule the 140 article of the constitution the parliament has to create a committee to address these clearly there are still problems in these areas. service problems, some of these areas -- started that problem after the liberation battle so how will he be approached and addressed if the iq are will contribute to the different structure of the test or the federal government? this is a problem these people
are suffering because they have not received anything, no infrastructure efforts from either one. we need to bring them into the decision-maker of those 140 [ inaudible ] how to implement this 140 article this is how we are to address this. >> i really want to give you a chance to answer this. >> [ indiscernible - low volume ] >> [ inaudible ] >> do to help with the reconstruction and with reconciliation? what can the here in the u.s. -- >> [ indiscernible - low volume ] >>
>> the iraq he people who live in -- they have a clearer and a good picture of iraq. the sectarian aspect is much much less outside iraq even in iraq it is less. as soon as they leave the iraq he borders even if they are in conflict with each other as soon as they leave outside in general speaking the
environment is much much better. we just, there are so many in iraq, for example they are expanded everywhere in the sunni areas and shiite areas. they have somehow to reflect that image and they will contribute [ indiscernible - low volume ] in the civil reconfirmation in iraq some of them are dignitaries and some of them are -- and sees them as such. that is to bring people who are influential academy always by
media inside the receive always a message we always [ indiscernible - low volume ] received always messages that we are with you and in a positive way we are contributing . tomorrow or the day after tomorrow we've had a conversation and meeting with the iraq he communities. probably we will address the same thing. this will contribute much faster than the media or other channels to have it inside iraq. >> apologies to those whose questions to get answered but we are truly out of time and i know you have a busy schedule. thank you for being with us today. join me in thanking mr. speaker mohamed al-halbousi for joining us today. we wish you all the best.