In the picture the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim and the Ambassador of Iraq, H.E. Dr. Hisham Al-Alawi.
By Tereza Neuwirthova.
On Sunday 27th October, the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in The Hague organised a dinner to honour the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim, who payed a two-day visit to the Netherlands.
Distinguished guests, among others the ambassadors of many Arab and European countries, including the Ambassadors of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Alexander Shulgin, Italy, H.E. Mr. Andrea Perugini, the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Mr. Abdelouahab Bellouki, Lebanon, H.E. Mr. Abdel Sattar Issa, Iran, H.E. Dr Alireza Kazemi Abadi, Austria, H.E. Ms. Heidemaria Gürer, Libya, H.E. Mr Marai Ahmayda Awad Arhim, Indonesia, H.E. Mr. I Gusti Wesaka Puja, Palestine, H.E. Ms. Rawan Sulaiman, Tunisia, H.E. Mr. Elyes Ghariani, United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Peter Wilson, Bangladesh, H.R. Mr. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Jordan, H.E. Mr. Nawaf Wasfi Tell, Egypt, H.E. Mr. Amgad Abdel Ghaffar, Sudan, H.E. Mr. Kamal Bashir Ahmed Mohamed Khair, UAE, H.E. Ms Hissa Abdulla Ahmed Alotaiba, Turkey, H.E. Mr Şaban Dișli, Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Shujjat Ali Rathore, Yemen, H.E. MS. Sahar Ghanem, Sweden, H.E. Ms Annika Markovic, Mr. Mourad Amorkani, Chargé d’affaires of Algeria, as well as representatives of international organisations attended the dinner that took place in the Hilton Hotel in The Hague, notably H.E. Mr. Fernando Arias, Director General of the OPCW and Ms. Kathryne Bomberger, Director General of the International Commission on Missing Persons. Also attended Ms. Simone van der Post, Iraqi Desk Officer at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To open the evening, H.E. Dr. Hisham Al-Alawi, the Iraqi ambassador to the Netherlands thanked Dr. Al-Hakim and the guests for their presence on this special occasion and especially during such hectic times.
“It is a great pleasure to host this event and to meet in such a large number to hold a constructive dialogue about the political and security situation of Iraq, and the challenges and issues it faces. Let us coordinate our endeavours in the fight against terrorist groups, and to build a liberalised area that will provide the stability that is crucially needed in the fragile Gulf region.”
Thereafter, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim delivered his speech, in which he stressed the priorities of the government at the current stage, namely security and stability. Minister Al-Hakim continued by stating the aim of his visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which was to enhance the bilateral cooperation in sectors such as agriculture and industry, both of which are in the scope of Dutch institutions’ expertise.
Moreover, pointing out Iraq’s orientations to diversify sources of income, support the private sector, create jobs, and eliminate unemployment by upgrading the economic sector, Dr. Al-Hakim explained how partnership between the countries, as well as the Dutch assistance and investment is bound to strengthen the Iraqi capacities.
“We are trying to work on reforming the public sector, working jointly with the private companies on our finances, and since we are one-commodity country dependent on oil, we need to ensure that money is put in the right places.”
On the issue of fighting terrorist activities in the region, Dr. Al-Hakim expressed the gratitude of Iraq for the support that has been given to it both by European, as well as Arab countries, while underlining the role of trust and dialogue that are crucial aspects of achieving the common goals.
“The Dutch government has given us tremendous amounts of assistance, and I am really grateful on behalf of the government of Iraq, to the countries that supported us in the coalition, with the goal of defeating the Da’esh terrorist group. This is not only an Iraqi issue, this is really a political and a global one, and we need to work together to ensure that we have collective ideas how to handle this particular issue.”
To end his speech, the minister reiterated that the goal of resolving the conflicts and ending the wars in the Gulf region can only be achieved through the coordination among countries, and that Iraq will strive to be the stabilising pillar necessary to secure the region.
While dinner was served, the distinguished guests continued the debate by passing microphone amongst themselves, whereby topics such as water diplomacy, reforms, de-mining, and the issue of missing persons were discussed.
The evening presented a meaningful moment for the diplomatic community of The Hague, and what is more, the visit of the foreign minister H.E. Dr. Mohamed Ali Al-Hakimin to the Netherlands will in all likelihood be a momentous one for Iraq in both contributing to the improvement of the bilateral relations, as well as in assisting with the development of Iraq’s economic capacities.