In Moscow Visit, Secretary General Of Iraq's Al-Nujaba Movement Meets With Deputy Minister Of Foreign Affairs Bogdanov, Declares Al-Nujaba Will Not Allow Continued U.S. Occupation Of Iraq

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November 27, 2022

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On November 27, 2022, the website of Iraq's Iran-backed Al-Nujaba Movement published an article in Persian, Arabic, and English versions reporting on the recent visit of the group's secretary general, Akram Al-Kaabi, to Moscow.[1] According to Al-Nujaba, Al-Kaabi met with "three high-ranking Russian political figures" during his trip: Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa; Professor Vitaly Naumkin, a senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; and Sheikh Albir Krganov, the Mufti of Moscow and chairman of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of Russia. Discussing the importance of relations between Russia and Iraq, Al-Kaabi declared that Al-Nujaba will not allow the U.S. to continue occupying Iraq.

The above photos show Al-Kaabi with Bogdanov (bottom), Naumkin (top left), and Krganov (top right).

Al-Nujaba describes the visit to Moscow by Al-Kaabi, "a high-ranking member of the Iraqi Islamic Resistance," as his "initiative to open a new chapter in Iraq-Russia relation [sic]." In his meeting with Bogdanov, the Iraqi Shi'ite cleric declared his readiness to cooperate with Russia in order to improve relations between Baghdad and Moscow, stating: "We will not allow the United States to encroach on Iraq's land and wealth by continuing its occupation." Al-Nujaba further notes that Al-Kaabi commented on "current developments in the international arena that lead the world towards the formation of a new world order," asserting that "the new world is multipolar and does not reflect the absolute dominance of the United States." Al-Nujaba's leader explained his group's "views and approaches" in "the jihadi-political arena," and asserted that Russia plays an important role in "global equations," particularly in West Asia. For his part, Bogdanov stated that Middle Eastern nations are "interested in achieving peace and sovereignty over their destiny," praised the Al-Nujaba Movement for playing "an important and effective role in countering terrorism" in both Iraq and Syria, and stressed the necessity of strengthening relations between Russia and Iraq "in all political, economic and cultural arenas."

Meeting with Naumkin, Al-Kaabi presented his ideas to solve common challenges facing the two nations, while the Russian professor expressed appreciation for Al-Nujaba's "effective activities" and encouraged the expansion of "cultural and academic relations" between Russia and Iraq.

In the meeting between Al-Kaabi and Mufti Krganov, the two "exchanged views on religious challenges and neutralizing plots." The Iraqi Shi'ite cleric declared that it is important "to confront the distortion of divine religions by the West," crediting Russia and Iran with making efforts to prevent such distortions and promoting Iraq as a suitable arena for doing so. Krganov explained "the essential role of the Russian Muslim community in the political process of this country" and "demanded an effective confrontation with the chaos created by the United States in the religious arena."

It should be noted that several of the Iran-backed Shi'ite groups in Iraq have glorified Russia and Putin in recent months, with a few Iran-backed groups, such as Yemen's Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement, openly declaring support for Russia in its ongoing war against Ukraine.[2]

 

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