Iraq tells neighbours to ‘stop meddling’ in its affairs

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AFP: Iraq will tell its neighbours to “stop meddling” in its affairs when they meet in Amman next month, interim Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in an interview with Chinese state media Monday. “We will definitely raise the issue and tell the world to stop meddling,” the foreign minister told Xinhua news agency after a four-trip visit to China. AFP

BEIJING – Iraq will tell its neighbours to “stop meddling” in its affairs when they meet in Amman next month, interim Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in an interview with Chinese state media Monday.

“We will definitely raise the issue and tell the world to stop meddling,” the foreign minister told Xinhua news agency after a four-trip visit to China.

He said that regional intervention was “detrimental” to Iraq’s electoral process.

Earlier this month, Jordan’s King Abdullah II accused Iran of trying to influence the January 30 Iraqi elections in a bid to create a “crescent” dominated by Shiites extending from Iraq to Lebanon.

In response, Iran said Sunday its Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi might boycott the meeting scheduled in Amman on January 15.

Zebari said the interim Iraqi government would tell its neighbours that “if you help us, help us positively”, adding that the Iraqi people should have the right to determine their future freely.

“This is our future,” he said.

Iran has constantly rejected allegations made by US and Iraqi leaders that it is meddling in Iraq, where the majority of the country’s population share the Islamic republic’s Shiite Muslim faith.