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Iraq reaffirms support for Palestinian cause, calls for Palestinian unity

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-24 09:37

BAGHDAD - Iraq on Sunday reaffirmed its support for the Palestinian cause, while calling for fostering unity among Palestinian parties via dialogue.

Iraqi leaders made the pledges during their meetings with visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Baghdad on Sunday, after a ceasefire ended the 11-day fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

A statement by the media office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that al-Kadhimi told al-Maliki that "Iraq will not abandon the Palestinian cause, which enjoys popular, political, and official support".

Al-Kadhimi also stressed the importance of holding Palestinian dialogue to unify the Palestinian parties, the statement said, adding that al-Kadhimi pledged to support Palestine through regional and international positions and contacts.

Al-Maliki also met with Iraqi President Barham Salih to discuss the situation in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, as well as the recent Israeli attacks on the Palestinians in Gaza and Jerusalem, according to a statement issued by the presidency's office.

The two sides also underlined the need to boost bilateral ties in a way that serves the aspirations of the two peoples, the statement said.

Al-Maliki handed Salih a letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressing his appreciation for the Iraqi stance toward the events that took place in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories during the past days, it added.

Al-Maliki also met with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein, who stressed the need for Palestinian unity and for a dialogue among the Palestinians.

At a joint press conference with al-Maliki following their meeting, Hussein said that "it is essential to unify the Palestinian ranks through an open dialogue between different Palestinian parties in a bid to strengthen the Palestinian Authority."

Hussein warned of the danger of using the recent confrontation with Israel to weaken the Palestinian Authority.

For his part, al-Maliki that his visit to Iraq "aimed at coordinating the upcoming positions."

Al-Maliki arrived in Baghdad earlier in the day, on his first visit to an Arab country after a ceasefire was reached on Friday between Israel and the militant groups led by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip.

The 11-day clashes, the worst since 2014, have left at least 240 Palestinians killed and 1,910 others injured, while 12 Israelis have been killed and 300 others wounded.

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