Iraqi foreign minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim announced in an interview that his country will not prosecute Islamic State fighters held in Kurdish camps in Syria, as demanded by Belgium and the Netherlands.
In the interview in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, he said that Iraq will only accept and prosecute Iraqi fighters.
“We take responsibility for our citizens, their wives and their children,” the minister said. “The European countries must do the same. That’s what we advise them to do.”
The Belgian Interior Minister, Pieter De Crem (CD & V), called in early October for the organization of trials of foreign fighters in the region where their crimes were committed.
“It must be in Iraq,” he said. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom want the same.
Iraq indicated clearly at a meeting in New York in September that it was not an option, says the Iraqi foreign minister.
Since then, the Iraqi foreign minister al-Hakim has had telephone conversations with seven European countries, writes De Standaard on Wednesday. However, the newspaper is not able to confirm whether Belgium participated in these discussions.