Iraqi President Barham Salih addresses United Nations General Assembly

Iraqi President Barham Salih gave a speech in front of the UNGA, calling on world leaders to increase cooperation and present a unified front to combat terrorism as well as climate change.

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Iraqi President Barham Salih gave a speech before the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. On Thursday, the Iraqi President called on world leaders to increase cooperation and present a unified front to combat terrorism as well as tackle climate change.

Salih singled out Iraq as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world against climate change and urged leaders to unite their efforts to roll back climate change.

On the counterterrorism front, President Salih stated that international cooperation and solidarity are the only way to combat terrorism. “If we become lax and distracted by regional conflicts, we will simply see the return of obscurantist forces that will threaten our peoples and our security,” he continued.

He also brought to the spotlight the newly adopted “Yazidi Survivors Law” as a significant step towards remedying ISIS atrocities against the ethnic and religious minority group.

The Iraqi parliament had passed the Yazidi Survivors Law which lays out the legal basis for reparations for the survivors of the ISIS occupation.

The President called for more international support to rebuild areas destructed in the fight against ISIS. He stated that, even though there was “great progress” in rebuilding areas, his country is hoping to benefit from international support to swiftly facilitate the return of displaced peoples. A significant number of areas are yet to reel back from the anti-ISIS campaign which resulted in the widescale destruction of numerous urban areas.

President Salih was also active on the sidelines of UNGA where he met US President Joe Biden as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The latter meeting, which took place in the newly-minted “Turkish House”, was closed to the press. Following the meeting, President Salih revealed that the two leaders discussed “bilateral relations and Ankara’s incursions into Iraq in pursuit of armed terror groups.”

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