Iraq would like to cooperate closely with its neighbors including Iran and Syria to promote regional peace, Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi told a forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.
Iraq needs a regional partnership involving all the six immediate neighbors that will reckon on peaceful solutions to problems in the region, al-Mahdi told a session of the World Economic Forum annual meeting.
Asked whether Iran would be willing to join the regional mechanism, al-Mahdi said that the partnership should be offered to Iran.
If the cooperation is good for the whole region, Iran "has no reason" to reject it, he said.
Al-Mahdi did not say directly whether the Iraqi government applauds the announced increase of US troops in the country.
He said Iraq clearly needs more troops to help reduce the violence in the country, especially in Baghdad, but those troops should be "Iraqi troops."
Pachari, a member of the Iraqi parliament, was also present at the session, titled "Iraq: Uniting for Stability."
Pachari was more outspoken about Iraq's urgent need for a "professional and loyal" national security force to curb the country's violence and finally bring stability to the country.
He said it was a "priority" for Iraq to reorganize its own security and military forces "on a professional basis," but to do this it definitely "will take some time."
Pachari expressed his hope that Iraq would have an independent, professional and united national military force "sooner than expected" so that the presence of US and other foreign forces would come to an end.
(Xinhua News Agency January 26, 2007)