Aqeel Al-Khazali on progress in Baghdad

Iraqi official discusses sovereignty and governance at policy conference

ERBIL, October 11 — Aqeel Al-Khazali, Advisor to Iraq’s Prime Minister, stated on Wednesday that the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, vindicated the Iraqi government in her statements to the United Nations Security Council this week, and further questioning the definition of Iraqi sovereignty while major powers influence and participate in the Iraqi political landscape.

Speaking on a panel during the MERI Forum 2023 in Erbil, Al-Khzaali noted:

The opposition focuses on gaps and deficiencies in the government, which is a constructive role, but the government does not bear the responsibility for all mistakes.

Sovereignty is fluid, according to the concept of technological and digital revolution, where there are no clear boundaries for countries in the face of informational openness. When we say that Iraqi sovereignty is being compromised by external parties, all major nations have dominance and influence in the political process. However, we must understand the Iraqi people’s will in the face of eroding sovereignty.

The statements made by Ammar Al-Hakim and Nechirvan Barzani indicate a deep commitment to Iraqi solutions in managing the political process.

Jeanine Plasschaert, in her remarks yesterday, pointed out the positive aspects. She stated that the steps taken by Al-Sudani’s government are promising and reliable, discussing the depth of diplomatic orientations, financial and administrative reform.

The biggest challenge facing the government is corruption, in its political, administrative, and economic sense. With the Al-Sudani leadership, 17,000 criminal cases have been pursued, and 602 people from political blocs, parties, special ranks, and high positions have been convicted. We also formed a committee to address legal gaps, but without strong legislative support, the issues cannot be resolved.

Al-Sudani has formed three teams to address problems: one monitors the government program, the second monitors the political agreement, and the third monitors special programs. In addition, the files are distributed among consultants to address crises, and this is the first time since 2003.

Al-Sudani achieved 115 out of 119 priorities, 100-percent implementation, with 260 executive measures showing progress, and 69 government measures were disrupted due to budget delays.

The political agreement marked a new development with a 59-percent achievement rate, containing 40 main axes and 81 sub-axes, with 48 of them accomplished.