News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqBritain warns Iran against interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs

Britain warns Iran against interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs

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DPA: Baghdad – Iran – and Iraq’s other neighbours – should help Iraq to stand on its own feet rather than interfere in its internal affairs, British Defence Minister John Reid said Saturday at a press conference in Baghdad.
DPA

Baghdad – Iran – and Iraq’s other neighbours – should help Iraq to stand on its own feet rather than interfere in its internal affairs, British Defence Minister John Reid said Saturday at a press conference in Baghdad.

Reid made the comment during a quick visit to Iraq during which he met with Iraqi officials on the eve of the third anniversary of the US-led war to oust the country’s former dictator Saddam Hussein.

“On the question of any other country which borders on Iraq, they should be minimizing to nil their interference in the internal affairs of Iraq and maximizing their assistance to the government and the democratically elected politicians of Iraq,” Reid said.

“That applies to every country in the region,” Reid told a joint press conference with Iraq’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari and Defence Minister Sadoun Al Dulaimi.

“I hope every country bordering Iraq will offer constructive assistance in the rebuilding of this country,” he added.

He also said that British forces were to stay in Iraq until a request is made by the Iraqi government for them to leave. This could only materialize when Iraqi troops are in full control to maintain peace, and not at constant risk of terrorists attacks, Reid said.

“When (the Iraqis) decide at any given area that it is time for the Iraqi troops themselves to take control, then we will give them that control upon request by the Iraqi government,” he added.

“In short we are here until the job is finished and the job will not be finished until the Iraqi government decide that they are willing, able and capable of maintaining their own security. As soon as they indicate that to us and they wish us to go, we will go,” Reid said.

Britain earlier announced it would reduce its troops in Iraq by 800 from their original number of 8,000. British troops are stationed in the southern provinces of Basra and Amarah.

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