Tuesday, 30 September 2014 14:39

Backing ISIL like scorpion in pocket

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Article source: Today's Zaman

A former Iraqi politician has cautioned that no country in the region should offer support to the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by viewing it as the enemy of one's enemy, as the terrorist organization poses a threat for all countries in the region.

“No one should keep a scorpion in his pocket because you will risk being bitten by it,” Bakhtiar Amin, former human rights minister of Iraq, said in an exclusive interview with Today's Zaman.

Amin, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Foundation for the Future -- a nongovernmental organization that aims to promote human rights and democratic governance in the greater Middle East region -- warned that seeing ISIL as the enemy of one's enemy may well prove dangerous.

“The enemy of my enemy sometimes becomes a friend. But we should not forget that no interest should be bigger than the survival of your neighbor. Otherwise, you might be next,” he said.

He is hopeful that the coalition against ISIL under the leadership of the US will prove helpful in successfully dealing with the terrorist organization.

“Despite the fact that many countries did not take the ISIL threat seriously, and some used this terrorist group or others for geopolitical reasons, we see today a positive development through the coalition building against these groups,” he commented.

Amin has heard claims that Turkey offered support to ISIL, but he refrains from delivering a judgment on the issue, as he does not have any intelligence report in hand about the issue.

“We hear and read such kinds of accusations about Turkey from the Turkish opposition, press and many other sources internationally, such as the treatment of wounded terrorists in the hospitals of Turkey, logistics [support], providing weapons, training,” he said.

Noting that ISIL is a brutal terrorist organization that threatens regional and international peace and which does not hesitate to committ the most heinous crimes in Iraq and Syria, he called on all countries to cooperate in cutting their financial resources and logistical network and banning their physical presence to destroy their existence.

“There are urgent needs for regional and international cooperation at all levels against ISIL and its sister organizations,” he said.

He also warned that when one does not act in time against such terrorist organizations, the danger becomes not only much bigger, but also more difficult to deal with.

He underlined the importance of cooperation against the terrorist group, which is currently active in Iraq and Syria, saying, “We need a broad international front in standing against this terrorist organization; our states, institutions and peoples should support one another.”

For him, terrorism has no religion or nationality. “ISIL is against all religions and humanity,” he stressed.

According to Amin, the new government in Iraq is providing Turkey and Iraq with an opportunity to solve the problems between the two countries, which enjoy a trade volume of more than $10 billion a year.

 'Mechanism needed for water management of common rivers'


Another issue that needs to be dealt with between the two countries is the share of water of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, he said. What the man on the street in Iraq believes is that Turkey does not fairly share the water with Iraqis, he said.

Amin, whose remarks reveal that he also believes that Turkey should be more generous in sharing the waters of the two rivers, emphasized that a joint mechanism should be put in place, as in other parts of the world, to manage the water.

“The Tigris and Euphrates Basin is among the rare places where there is no real political will nor a proper efficient mechanism of cooperation in the form of a commission between riparian countries. I hope that we should not wait for catastrophes until we begin this cooperation and use water as an instrument for peace and economic and cultural development,” he remarked.

He agrees that, as was pointed out earlier by Turkey, the water should be used in a more economical way. “No doubt, the consumption of water needs to be done in a rational way by all sides. Irrigation technology needs to be modernized, and we should not waste water,” he said.

He noted that pollution is a very serious problem for both these rivers; Turkey and Iraq have a shared responsibility for their protection. “Today, unfortunately the pollution of these two rivers is nine times above the average of the international standard in terms of pollution,” he said.

Article source: Today's Zaman 

Read 4879 times Last modified on Sunday, 15 March 2015 13:12
Amin Bakhtiar

Bakhtiar Amin has served as Minister of Human Rights of Iraq, Alternate Member of Governing Council in Iraq, Refugee Councilor in Sweden and Secretary General of Paris Kurdish Institute, Adviser to Danielle Mitterrand Foundation France-Libertes, Director of Human Rights Alliance in Washington D.C. , Executive Director of the International Alliance for Justice (IAJ), which coordinated a network of 275 international non-governmental organizations from more than 120 countries.