CHICAGO, April 1 (Xinhua) — While progress is being made in Iraq, several factors including corruption and foreign intervention still threaten the country’s stability, a former Iraqi government minister warned.
Speaking before members of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Thursday, former Iraqi finance minister Ali Allawi argued that it was the “weakness” of Iraq’s politicians that created a vacuum for foreign interference.
He warned “the continuous involvement of foreign powers in the internal affairs” of Iraq “is a very dangerous phenomenon.”
Citing the 2010 parliamentary election, Allawi said Iraqi political parties took “large sums of money” from foreign enablers.
Foreign involvement goes beyond the electoral process, extending to the arming of extremist elements within Iraq, he said.
Allawi, who insists he has no political ambitions, said Iraqi leaders must stand up against foreign pressure and build legitimacy.
“The role of the Iraqi state is not to buckle under these pressures, but to stand up to them, and to maintain with confidence relationships with our neighbors, without it deteriorating into this kind of subservience.”
Other challenges Iraq faces include the lack of a unified economic strategy, flight of the educated class and the continuous threat of secession of the Kurdish region.
Despite all of these, Allawi said there are also signs of progress, foremost of which is the “overall decline in violence” throughout the country.