UK-Iraq pact to combat terrorism and narcotics trafficking

In a bid to fortify ties against looming security challenges, the United Kingdom and Iraq are set to enhance their partnership, primarily targeting terrorism and the burgeoning menace of drug trafficking. The two nations have expressed their keen interest in fortifying their security association to pinpoint and tackle shared severe organised crime threats.

Tom Tugendhat, UK’s Security Minister, expressed the country’s intent to bolster Iraq’s capabilities against drug manufacturing and distribution during his recent visit to Baghdad. Mr Tugendhat emphasised on the imperative need to augment their existing collaboration against terrorism, stating the aim is to “identify and address shared serious organised-crime threats.”

Drawing attention to the intricacies of the situation, he mentioned, “Human smuggling, trafficking, narcotics and money laundering operate collectively as a criminal network, severely undermining Iraq’s statehood.”

Historically, Iraq has been more of a conduit for drugs, notably the amphetamine Captagon, with its primary source being neighbouring Syria. However, recent indicators suggest a shift in production sites towards Iraq.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Mr Tugendhat revealed that a facility manufacturing Captagon was unearthed last month in a province adjacent to Saudi Arabia, strategically positioned for facilitated access to the kingdom.

Elaborating on the interconnected nature of these crimes, Mr Tugendhat commented, “There’s an inherent interlink between narcotics, human trafficking, terrorism, and violence. These illicit activities, especially drug trafficking and human smuggling, don’t just afflict Iraq but resonate throughout the region, impacting many of our regional allies.”

Iraq’s Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al Sudani, lauded his nation’s “significant efforts” in combating drug and human trafficking. Highlighting the forthcoming collaboration, Mr Al Sudani mentioned that both the Iraqi and British interior ministries are on the cusp of inking agreements that delineate their cooperative strategies on these pressing concerns.

A spokesperson from the UK side confirmed that the focal point of these accords would be the exchange of information, supporting efforts against terrorism and the broader spectrum of “serious organised crime”.

Tags : Iraq