GCC to support Iraq in combating terror and regaining sovereignty, says top official

Secretary general of the GCC, Nayef Al Hajraf, travelled to Baghdad to enhance relations

Member of the Iraqi federal police forces stand guard at a checkpoint in a street in the capital Baghdad on January 29, 2021, during tightened security measures, a day after a man identified as the top Islamic State (IS) group figure in the country was killed.  Iraq's premier announced yesterday that the military had killed the man, a week after an IS attack in Baghdad killed more than 30 people.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi said IS's Iraq "wali", or governor, Abu Yasser al-Issawi, was killed in an "intelligence-led operation" by Iraqi security forces.
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The Gulf Co-operation Council said it would support Iraq as it fights against terrorism and enhances its economy.

Baghdad is seeking an economic boost and better political ties with Gulf states as it tries to address demands for reform and curb corruption and extremism.

"The Gulf states are supporting Iraq in imposing its sovereignty as the stability, security and prosperity of Iraq is important to the region," the secretary general of the council, Nayef Al Hajraf, said during a visit to Baghdad on Monday.
Mr Al Hajraf said the council was looking to organise a joint investment conference with Iraq to boost economic and trade opportunities.

"We stress the importance of having strategic relations between the countries of our council and Iraq," he said.

Mr Al Hajraf spoke about the council's solidarity with Iraq in strengthening its security and enhancing stability.

The council rejects any forms of "extremism and violence, its motives and justification as well as the sources that fund and support it."

Mr Al Hajraf stressed the importance of co-ordination between the two sides in fighting extremist groups such as ISIS.

His comments comes after a deadly twin suicide bombings killed over 32 people in Baghdad late last month.

ISIS took responsibility for the attack, which was the worst Baghdad had experienced in three years.

The bombers blew themselves up among a crowd of shoppers at a second-hand clothing market in Tayaran Square.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said Baghdad and the council were working collectively to fight against terrorism.

Mr Al Hajraf also met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi during his visit to the capital.

The Iraqi premier said his country is seeking to strengthen its relations with the Council in the fields of economy, politics and culture.

"Dialogue is needed to solve the outstanding problems between the countries of the region, we really believe in the importance of conducting discussions," Mr Al Kadhimi said.

"It's imperative that countries work together," he said.

The Iraqi official stressed the need to follow up on the pledges made during the Iraqi reconstruction conference that was held in Kuwait in 2018.

The country received pledges of $30 billion, mostly in credit facilities and investment, from allies but it fell short of the $88 billion Baghdad says it needs to recover from years of wars against ISIS.

"This aspect is vital as it will have an impact on the economic, social and security stability of Iraq, which is reflected upon the region," he said.

It also coincides with Iraq's efforts to combat terrorism.