tv U.S. Institute of Peace Discussion on Iraq CSPAN March 29, 2019 11:32am-12:39pm EDT
something else. there are criminal penalties to doing that. is part of why for the administration to tell congress where it anticipates .etting the money the more closely i looked at the additional -- the initial declaration, it has no intentional policy effect. >> we will leave the last couple minutes of this event. we can watch this and all our programs online at c-span.org. iraq.discussion on they will talk about the parties -- priorities.
live coverage here on c-span. >> if you are using a headset foreign term rotation, channel 14 english, channel 64 arabic. we will be passing around cards for you to write your questions on and we will collect those. if you are tweeting about the this #.tion, please use welcome the representative. welcome to the distinguished members of the iraqi council of rep recitative's who are traveling here to washington. welcome to all of you.
a special welcome to the .mbassador, thank you as always i'm pleased that we are able to host this discussion because iraq is at another pivotal moment as it finds it way towards bees -- keith and stability. as an institute dedicated to the promise that piece is possible and is very practical. we work with partners on how to prevent, mitigate and resolve conflict. we do policy analysis with research, training and work on the ground. iraq is one of our largest programs with the excellent
teamrship and a terrific both here and in iraq. it is based on our research we workingt peace requires both from the top down, and from the bottom up. we will buy it -- we were with to preventartners violence and to support the safe and voluntary return for displaced iraqis. lucia, we support religious minorities as they recover from the devastation left after isis. we are conducting communal dialogue in other parts of the country. and we work with iraqi leaders seekd the country as they
a more lasting peace. it has been a year since iraq declared the military decease of isis and since then the government has continued its returned 4.2ave million internally displaced people to return home in iraq. the speakers presence here in washington comes as iraq has taken the step of holding electingelections, and a new parliament and forming a new government. mr. speaker and members of the delegation, congratulations on these important milestones. speaker ai met the year ago in iraq when he was still the governor of and bar
province. and bar he has been on the frontlines of dealing with the devastations of isis and its aftermath. when we met a year ago i came away impressed with how pragmatic, energetic and engaged he was with the complex challenges that his community faced as well as elsewhere in iraq, including how to balance security and social cohesion, and a return to displaced iraqis. this is vital as the rack moves -- iraq will support. forward.oves i am pleased to host the speaker here today.
thank you very much for listening and i am ready to listen to your questions. applause] >> thank you for joining us and thank you for those comments. a very busy visit here in washington dc. i understand you have had meetings with speaker pelosi, secretary pompeo and make -- and members of congress.
can you give us a flavor of how those conversations have gone this setting the stage for the relationship between the united states and iraq? thank you. we are very much welcoming here in the united states. i am sure that these conversations will contribute to and the stille going on between the united states with the international community.
we are partners in the fight against isis. extremist withs the help of everybody, the byernational coalition led the united states and we appreciate that very much. it does not mean -- there must be continuous support from the united states and the international community to harnish the -- which support -- this
is important for the armed forces, and understanding in iraq over three presidencies in iraq. branch led by the prime , our efforts to work with the international partners and coalition to defeat the just -- extremists foundations. , it is more ofse intelligence. somehow obtain funding from all these
areas. hurt the rack -- iraq, of course, and following the shutting down of these organizations, we need to follow up from these aspects. i am sure alltes the people you mentioned understand the conversation with the speaker pelosi and the vice president and defense secretary. much on theare so same page to help iraq and work
economy and so the security and military in finish off the andemist organizations create opportunity. observations and i found it is a very hesitant five from the united -- very positive vibe from the united states. how do you make sure that isis doesn't come back and you mentioned several ways that you are approaching it. about the role of reconciliation, of ensuring that ?here is a sense of conclusion
you talk about the presidencies and the sense of commitment. what do you view of the status of reconciliation as a means of ensuring that isis ideology does not come back and what do you think should be done about that? there are too many elements , wetop the return of isis have to deal with the causes that brought this organization socials ideology, the and humanitarian issues, we need to deal with that. iraqiing services to services in general. camp's.
clearly they could be somehow , a window for the organizations to come back. immediate -- so 's living inidp those camps. it is very difficult situation. fragile,d be very for thetargeted extremist ideology. we are willing and are waiting for our partnership and the effort and support from the united states and the
international community. iraq cannot take it on the shoulder alone. we are waiting for help and support. there are think that differences within the for theional community direction. -- from the international countries some of the we want -- we are in a race with time. .omehow to get involved open-ended, it's
going to be --. it has to come in two parts. and one the bottom up from the political parties. the first it comes from the area that was subject to the operation of isis. this has to be dealt with, and i think we make sure -- i'll give you an example. a family of seven people, one of -- with these , wenizations, the family
had to bring back these families to their homeland with the promise that they would never return back with one of theirs terrorists organizations. to reconcile and never be terroristto the organization, whether they were ilitant, we bring them another reconciliation we need in support of the international community, i would say in a
mponent like 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 legislative government and the international community to split e humanity aspect from the elector aspects. any pragmatic election issue, they have all the rights to elect anyone that they feel would represent them, whether it's -- it could affect negatively but we have to respect that. whatever they want to elect,
humanitarian election, two separate things. >> you covered a lot of ground. let me pick a couple of strands forward. the first follow-up is you mentioned the religious minorities or components, as you say in iraq, who are truly facing existential concerns. you mentioned the religious minorities or components, as they're called in iraq, who are facing what many consider to be existential challenges, and this is clearly a topic of some focus within iraq, here within the
united states as well. how do you -- how are you, as speaker, and other political leaders approaching the concerns of these religious communities about their ability to exist in iraq, their security concerns, their inclusion in ecisionmaking? speaker al-halbousi: as soon as i assume as a speaker of the c.o.r., yes, i do not -- i am from one component, but i am surely not working for only one component. i work for all components in iraq. at the y priorities reconnected with the minority, christian inorities.
whether with their religious leaders or their political leaders, i continuously work with them to let them know that all the representation is completely for iraq. it's not only one component. one of iraqis' characteristics is that all iraq has multiple components, arabs, turks, everybody. at we find is that iraq is distinguished from others, it contains all these opponents. we are working to bring them back to their own areas apart from the political differences, to er it's in planes or
have exactly a rerepresentation in the state institutions, just like the other m.p.'s that i mention, that they have representation. there is one of the ministers we e trying to open up to other women as well. we are working to appoint a lady, a woman minister, apart from state institutions, including security institutions. we want them to enter state institutions. this way they would protect their own areas, so they can be in their own residential areas and contributors to do the security portfolio in these areas, in their own areas.
>> we -- i am going to intersperse questions from the audience. we have quite a few here, so on this topic, we have a question asking, could you comment on the challenge of nonlocal security forces in christian areas in the ninawa plains? speaker al-halbousi: yes, yes. i quickly pointed out to talk about these people, the residential of those areas, to be contributor in the army, in the security, the national security, and the intelligence
in all these services, we want them to protect their own areas. primee in action from the minister to have representation from these components inside their own. for example, in sinjar and as i said before, it's a political problem, not security. everybody wants to control this area. electoral, i don't deny it, there also is an external intervention to affect these areas. what we are doing is working in these areas to have their own people get involved and indulge in all of these institution services. >> let me follow up on that because iraq's popular mobilization forces played a very large role in the fight
against isis. 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 longer term. what do you see as the future of he popular militias, the .m.f.? speaker al-halbousi: yes, it's a answeredvolunteers who the highest supreme religious fatwa in iraq. they offered a lot of sacrifices in this area. yes, some of them are linked to the p.m.f., and there is a direction from the iraqi
security armed forces to deal with this, to have only one unified commandership. some of the p.m.f. groups are in some areas, but not only p.m.f. in these areas. i repeat again and reiterate, it's a political problem, not security. , some re so many parties international terrorist organizations that they enter in these areas, and we hope that we will solve this problem locally d internationally or externally. international intervention would somehow hit an imbalance in this area. you f them are -- i tell like either christians or yadidis are part members of the p.m.f.'s use it to attack their
opponents or their -- what we want is like the police that they are only loyal to the country, to the state institution, not to one component or the other. it's not welcomed from the people of the area. for example, like sinjar, but iraq alone cannot face this challenge. the isis occupied part of iraq, they did a lot of mess, and they pressured iraq and some other countries are using this aspect. just to follow up on the p.m.f. point, to the armed forces commandership of the armed forces are trying to rearrange the p.m.f. organizations
ructure to have in every provincial area support if they are there, they 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 iran have ont does iraq's politics, either positive or negative? how do you see the impact of iran? i would add, you have a lot of regional neighbors active in iraq. w do you balance all those influences, external actors?
speaker al-halbousi: can i see who asked this question, stand up. oh, my gosh. these countries, including iran, they always, always interfere for their own interests. you know, iraq is always having problems, whether it's local or international problems, where most of the regional countries interfere negatively, not
positively, and wouldn't hinder -- i mean would hinder iraq from going forward in progress its own way. as i said earlier in my speech, iraq first strategy, that's what we want, to adhere and be careful that our common interests and respect each other. this is a fixture and it's not only a slogan, it's not a political slogan. we want this to be implemented in effect, to have full sovereignty, no intervention whatsoever, from regional or elsewhere. take past, we used to this direction like what they want from iraq, whether the gulf or the u.s. or turkey or anybody. what exactly their interest in iraq, but now what we want -- what iraq wants from jordan or
from gulf countries or from turkey or from the international community, based on the common interest and mutual interest, we are working to have all these political relationships. for example, our relationship ith the united states does not get affected with the people or the country that is neighboring iraq. that's what we try to do. it's not to put them in conflict with each other. our strength and our force in iraq will contribute to the stability of the region, including iran. the strongest -- the powerful iraq will contribute to the regional stability of these neighboring countries. any negative impact on iraq or
negative intervention in iraq, i tell you honestly, some were intervention. now we all are one iraq. there is no way out of iraq for all iraqis, from all components of iraq other than one iraq. everyone wants a special interest of these countries, we welcome all components in iraq to have iraq first. >> let's stay with the neighborhood for a moment. on your other border, you have a very long border with syria. there have been recent exchanges between civilian and military leaders, baghdad, damascus, and we have a number of questions from the audience on syria. so the question is what is your
assessment of the direction of events in syria, and what is your position towards the reintegration of syria in the arab league? what is the impact of this on raq? speaker al-halbousi: syria is a brethren arab country. with syria being subjected to attacks is not very different from iraq, but iraq is much longer term. it's very important that syria be back to the arab league than to go somewhere else. syria is part of the arab world. for the syrians they have a good position with iraq. before 2003 and after 2003. me re 2003, they adopted -- personally, they adopted the
resistance, with me personally, when i was subject to terrorist attacks and targeting in anbar, i took refuge in syria. i found that syria welcomed the iraqis and welcomed me, and we ve to return back that faith and work to strengthen their unification to have the people of syria to support for them to decide their own political future and who is going to be their leader? that's their own decision, and it's for our benefit in iraq and syria to clear syria from all terrorism and extremism organizations. we have to have them back as a participant with the international community. myself invited the speaker in
syria to come to iraq and visit raq in april to have a joint conversation with him at the parliament level, and i extended an invitation to other speakers of the neighboring countries, to bring them all this way. syria will come back to the arab world, to the international -- be a participant in the international community. >> so one more question about iran. this is about iran waivers, and it's given the importance of electricity to iraq and to baghdad in particular, but also very important for business development in iraq. do you expect future waivers from the united states on iran nctions to allow electricity
development? speaker al-halbousi: the situation in iraq is distinguished and different. how to deal with iran than any other country. 450 kilometers is our border with iran. we do not want any problems iran, just like we don't want any problems between iraq and turkey or iraq and jordan and anybody else. unfortunately, until now we have not come up economically in iraq. we are still imposing power and electricity from iran. i think 30% of what we use in
iraq is imported from the neighboring countries. even though we are an oil producer, but we still using how to burn gas associated with -- still what is the alternative? still primitive use of -- what is the alternative? we don't have any sanctions weociated with iran, somehow of iraq.he resources we are again -- all sanctions by the way, but we are trying to have our own -- purely economic
nd sovereign economic from our own decisionmakers. hopefully, i think, this waiver ll be extended in order to allow iraq to stand up on its feet economically until -- because gas and oil, it takes probably three years. after the three years, maybe if we see and look at iraq as economically independent, then 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 aspects. >> so we have a number of questions going back to the question of isis, and one
questioner says that some experts believe that iraq is back to a pre-isis situation in isis of the resurgence of ideology. the question is, what are the practical steps that are being taken to ensure that the concerns are taken into account, that there is more inclusion? another related question is, what would iraq like other countries, both western and middle eastern countries, do in terms of taking back their citizens who are involved with isis? i would ask for your assessment of what is the magnitude of the problem?
of the isis fighters and their families who are detained in raq. speaker al-halbousi: in one of the largest provinces in iraq, the people back then, yes, everybody had civic duties and responsibilities, but we believe have to people contribute to build this iraq and then the iraqi institutions would give everybody an equal right. this has been somehow found an
r to have everybody -- every component to have participants in all the state institutions, administrative, security, without being concerned or having disappointed second class citizens. there has been in the past or there had been somehow a part of sectarian differences or discrimination but rather partisan discrimination. some would have more influence than others. the she ya were not -- shi'ia were not beneficiaries of that area in the past. but purely and in fact, they
nly were from a partisan position. is conflict, the inequality, implementation of law on some services and support that go to one province these problems created problems between the provincial administration and the government, federal government. ut we are working on that. they did not have the real representation for those components in those provinces or o have a real partnership with
provinces or at the external or international level. ow currently we have to have equality in society, to have a air share for everyone, so the components should not feel that they are second-class citizens, one of them, no component. what differentiate one citizen from another is his or her performance, not the idea of that person. just like i mentioned before, to stop somehow provoking and incompetent citing the people who were oppressed. someone who took advantage and abused the oppressors and this is what we want to stop because his is an incubator to destabilization of security, in
iraq and in these provinces, ether it's human or ideology or finance or military. i don't expect anybody -- everybody, even in countries around us. now it is our opportunity. i take responsibility as a speaker. the m.p.'s, they all take responsibility. the prime minister, the president of the republic, everyone has to take responsibility to establish civic equality. this face is different than every face before. it's unprecedented. the only thing when isis came in, this came out positive out of defeat of isis because iraqis came as united. at 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, miss nancy, anyone, gn fighters, militants, that contribute or hurt iraqis directly or indirectly will face justice in aq, and the iraqi justice is basically straight to the terrorism act. some probably were isis members tside of iraq, if they had impact or directly were involved inside the iraqi territory, will face justice in iraq.
i think the punishment is really, really harsh. different than someone who is not an iraqi citizen. others, western nationals, they will be taken care of by their own countries. think, everybody knows how to bring back their nationals, and iraq will be so careful in taking to justice all these militants, but also their countries know exactly how to apply their own laws and their own justice on their own ationals who were members of this extremist organization that hurt iraq. we will ask for compensation
did oreign nationals who hurt iraq, directly or indirectly. this is the right for iraqis to compensate families who lost their properties, who lost their family members, all because of this isis. >> 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 irbil. 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 just briefly say if you think it >> and then a second question?
and then the second question, ms. nancy? the second question is a good question to end with. >> ok, i will answer. >> is a good ending question. >> the relationship between kurdistan, it was -- now i think, it is much, much better than a how it was before. there is an intention in baghdad to have an understanding with the iqr region and vice versa. the same thing with relationship to everything. 2014, every year, we had problems with the budget because
it was not clear. every year, it comes back and revisits the same thing. positivelyhave this iqr?t -- the every now and then, it comes back but this year is much, much better. we have somehow compromised from there was some compromise to agree to 2019 to have results in problems between the two. the biggest one is the oil problem. differences on the contracts in iqr, for example. are partnership
contracts. in baghdad, it is like more then baghdad, andips to how the service is contracted. this is how we are going to negotiate in the next phase as a political party or as a political entity, we have to work on that. it will be always a problem, but both sides have to compromise in order to service the iraqi people, the kurdistan people. the intentions are always there to resolve outstanding problems. think because iqr is in
andformation of their krg regional government, after this, hopefully before 2020, according to our schedule from baghdad's schedule and the iqr schedule, we have to deal with this. the 140 article, by the constitution, teh coe -- the cor, the parliament has the create a committee to address this. clearly, there are still problems. service problems. and started to have problems after the battle. so how is it going to be approached or addressed? iqr going to contribute to the recent structures of these areas or the central
government -- this is the problem between this or that. these people are suffering because they have not received anything. no infrastructure efforts from either one. to provide these services from idp's so the decision-maker of the peoplerticle or of these people have to is,ement this 140 article this is how we are to address it. >> we are out of time, but i want to give you a chance to answer this question. the government and the private , here in the u.s., what can we do to help with reconstruction and reconciliation? what can the iraqi diaspora here in the u.s. it do to help?
generally speaking, the environment is much, much, much better. we just live, and they are extended everywhere in the city areas. the iraqi community outside of iraq, they have to somehow reflect that image. they will contribute positively in the civil reconsolidation in of them areme dignitaries, some of them are authors, some of them are singers -- and iraq always remembers them and sees them as such. to bring people who are always by media, it
receivenside, they the message always, that we are with you and in a positive way, we are contributing tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we have the conversation and meeting with the iraqi communities. probably, we will have to address the exact same thing. much fasterntribute than the media or other channels to have it inside iraq. >> we could go on. there are many, many questioned. apologies to those who did not get answers, but we are truly out of time. thank you for being with us. speakerin thanking mr. for joining us. [applause] >> we wish you all of the best.
please come back. ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until the delegation the parts. -- departs. >> and here on c-span, we will stay live and continue a look at the foreign policy of the president trump administration. we are live at the congressional defense and foreign policy for him, their discussion getting underway about 10 minutes ago live here on c-span. >> the document reveals a president pursuing and leading forward and critical parts of the world where america's vital interests are under