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Home News Iraqi PM urges Russia to boost role in fighting IS

Iraqi PM urges Russia to boost role in fighting IS

Published on 21/05/2015

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday urged the Russian leadership to boost its involvement in the fight against the Islamic State group, with Moscow pledging to supply weapons.

On a visit to Moscow, Abadi warned Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that terrorism is spreading, days after IS fighters seized the strategic Iraqi city of Ramadi, dealing a major blow to the government.

“Terrorism is not limited to our country,” he told Putin. “We hope that today’s visit helps continuing support and strengthening cooperation in battling terrorism not just in Iraq but the whole region.

Putin said the two countries have a “large agenda,” including in defence cooperation, though no details of specific deals were announced in tbe course of the meetings.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pledged full support by Moscow and said it is ready to deliver weapons to Iraq.

“We will try to satisfy all possible demands to the maximum, so that their defence capability and ability to oust IS and other terrorists from their territory is guaranteed,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian agencies.

Abadi is on a diplomatic drive to rally support for tackling IS, travelling to Washington last month where he asked President Barack Obama to step up a US-led air campaign against the jihadists and boost defence aid.

He is now taking the same message to Moscow, where he compared the battle with IS to Russia’s struggle against Nazi Germany 70 years ago.

“In a joint effort, we will be able to have victory over these new forces, similar to those that you overcame in the past,” he told Medvedev.

“We highly value relations with Russia and think they have a lot of potential,” Abadi declared.

“We understand that the threat of terrorism is enveloping not just Iraq but the neighbouring countries,” Abadi told Medvedev in remarks translated into Russian.

“It evolves and takes new shapes, and we understand perfectly well that it requires heightened attention from Russia. We expect more active cooperation in this direction,” he added.

Russia last year delivered Mi-28 attack helicopters to the Iraqi military for use against the insurgents.

“We are glad to support and advance cooperation with Iraq at the government level,” said Medvedev.