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Iraq Maps Out Its Foreign Policy Ahead of Donors Conference

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi mapped out his country's foreign policy priorities on the eve of an international conference in Kuwait on reconstruction in parts of Iraq devastated by the war against ISIS.

Abadi said on Friday that his country is seeking "is establish natural relations with all neighboring countries without making any concessions on the interests of our people, the country and national principles."

"We can't isolate ourselves ... Yet we can consolidate ourselves through unity," the premier told the 6th ambassadors conference organized by the Iraqi foreign ministry.

He also expressed optimism on Iraq's future and its economic growth in the coming stage.

Donor countries and organizations are expected to announce financial contributions at the Kuwait meeting from Feb. 12 to Feb. 14.

Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Mahjoub told Asharq Al-Awsat that the ambassadors' conference comes at a time of unusual circumstances both in Iraq and outside the country.

It sets the stage for the donors meeting in Kuwait, he said.

Member of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee MP Khalid al-Asadi also told the newspaper that Friday's conference was aimed at unifying Iraq's foreign policy, which enjoys many positive aspects mainly after the defeat of ISIS.

"The changes that took place in the region after 2003 imposed challenges on Iraq that compelled it not to interfere in the internal affairs of others and not to allow others to meddle in its internal issues," he said.

"All countries neighboring Iraq have, however, tried one way or another to draw its political map," the lawmaker told Asharq Al-Awsat.

"Regardless of the nature of intervention, only the Constitutional path of the elections will set the nature of the government," Asadi said when asked whether outside meddling in the elections would be any different this time around.

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