FM says Iraq keen to end Russia-Ukraine war
Iraq is keen to end the war between Russia and Ukraine as soon as possible, foreign minister Fuad Hussein said on Saturday.

 “Iraq’s position in taking neutrality is line with the provisions of the Iraqi Constitution,” Hussein said during a meeting with G7 ambassadors, according to the Iraqi foreign ministry.

He added that Iraq would not stand with a side against the other, noting that the country is against “any war and armed conflict” between countries.

Hussein also expressed “grave concern” over the deterioration of humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

There was little sign of a breakthrough in efforts to negotiate an end to the five-week war, although Russia’s chief negotiator said talks were due to resume on Monday.

Ukraine said on Saturday its forces had retaken all areas around Kyiv, claiming complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia launched its invasion on Feb 24.

Russia has pulled back forces that had threatened Kyiv from the north to regroup for battles in eastern Ukraine.

Since the launch of what Putin called a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine, Russia has failed to capture a single major city and has instead laid siege to urban areas, uprooting a quarter of the country’s population.

British military intelligence said Russian naval forces were maintaining a blockade along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, but the option of amphibious landings were becoming increasingly high-risk for Russia.

It said reported mines, the origin of which remained unclear and disputed, posed a serious risk to shipping in the Black Sea.

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