Al Maliki concedes political solution needed

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 Al Maliki has thus far publicly focused on a military response to the two-week crisis, and his latest comments were his clearest yet regarding finding a political solution. Earlier in an interview with the BBC, Al Maliki said the Syrian air force had carried out air strikes against militants on the Syrian side of the Al Qaim border crossing, not on the Iraqi side which was previously believed. He added that Iraq had purchased several used Sukhoi fighter jets from Belarus and Russia. The Iraqi leader said that while Baghdad did not request the Syrian strikes, he “welcomed” any such move against militants led by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

 

  • Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (left), Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal (second left) and UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (right), listen as US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to thepress before a meeting at the US Chief of Mission Residence in Paris on Thursday.

Hundreds of villagers fleeing violence crowd at checkpoint on the edge of Kurdish territory

Golf News

pPublished: 17:45 June 26, 2014

Baghdad: Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki conceded Thursday that political measures were needed alongside military action to repel a Sunni insurgent offensive that has overrun swathes of Iraq and threatens to tear it apart. His remarks came during a meeting with visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who reiterated Western calls for Iraqi leaders to unite in the face of a militant onslaught that has killed more than 1,000 people and displaced more than half a million.

On the ground, fighters continued to target key towns and infrastructure but security forces appeared to be performing better than in the initial days of the advance, when they largely wilted. “We should proceed in two parallel tracks,” Al Maliki told visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague, according to a statement issued by the premier’s office. “The first one is work on the ground and military operations against terrorists and their gatherings,” he said. “The second one is following up on the political process and holding a meeting of the parliament (on time) and electing a head of parliament and a president and forming the government.”

Al Maliki has thus far publicly focused on a military response to the two-week crisis, and his latest comments were his clearest yet regarding finding a political solution. Earlier in an interview with the BBC, Al Maliki said the Syrian air force had carried out air strikes against militants on the Syrian side of the Al Qaim border crossing, not on the Iraqi side which was previously believed. He added that Iraq had purchased several used Sukhoi fighter jets from Belarus and Russia. The Iraqi leader said that while Baghdad did not request the Syrian strikes, he “welcomed” any such move against militants led by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Meanwhile, hundreds of Iraqi villagers fleeing advances by jihadist militants crowded at a checkpoint on the edge of the country’s Kurdish-controlled territory Thursday seeking shelter in the relative safety of the self-rule region. An insurgent artillery offensive against Christian villages in the north of Iraq on Wednesday sent thousands of Christians fleeing from their homes, seeking sanctuary in the Kurdish enclave. The shelling of a cluster of villages happened in an area known as Hamdaniya,75 kilometres from the frontier of the self-ruled Kurdish region.

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