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Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani said, on Thursday, that most of the main suspects in the theft of tax secretariats known as theft of the century have fled outside Iraq, denying at the same time the interference of Iran and the United States of America in forming his current government.
In an interview with the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Al-Sudani said, "We are continuing with administrative and security reforms, fighting the (corruption pandemic) and recovering the looted funds," stressing that $80 million has been recovered so far and the process is continuing.
He added, "We started working on security reform and dealing with the problem of uncontrolled weapons through a committee headed by us," noting that "all political forces within the State Administration Coalition agreed to address the problem of uncontrolled weapons (...) Weapons will only be within the framework of the security services established by law." .
Referring to the differences and outstanding issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Prime Minister said, "We are working to address the relationship between Baghdad and Erbil."
Al-Sudani touched on what is known as the theft of the century, that "most of the main suspects in the theft of the century fled and contributed to getting the money out of Iraq," stressing that "the amount according to the declared amount of the theft of the century in the preliminary accounts of the oversight authorities is 3 trillion and 700 billion dinars.
He continued by saying, "We set the issue of recovering money as a primary goal for the government's work," noting that "there are important names of politicians who have been arrested and money has begun to be recovered from them."
In terms of foreign relations, Al-Sudani said, "Iraq and Saudi Arabia are able to establish a regional axis that will be a basis for stability in the region and the world."
He noted that he had agreed with the Saudi crown prince on a roadmap for developing bilateral relations.
The Prime Minister stated that "it will start with ministerial visits, then the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council will convene to implement projects over a period of 3 years."
He stressed that Baghdad continues to play its role in hosting the Saudi-Iranian dialogue, and there is a meeting soon.
Al-Sudani denied the existence of any Iranian or American interference in the formation of the government, which reached 100 days.
He went on to say that the government was formed by a 100% Iraqi decision, and was not subject to any direct or indirect influence or interference, stressing that we do not want Iraq to be an arena for settling scores, and we are not a party to an axis against the other.
He stressed the need to activate the strategic framework agreement between Washington and Baghdad.
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