Iraq violence 'directly related' to Syria

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said, “The increasing growth of extremist groups” is the deeper problem in Syria and warned “against the narrow, revenge-based view that controls some of the region's countries."

Iraq violence 'directly related' to Syria

World Bulletin / News Desk

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in an interview with Al-Monitor, said that Iraq supports a “transitional government that will manage affairs until elections are held and a constitution is adopted” in Syria.

Maliki, who opposed a US strike on Syria and any outside military intervention there, said that he told US Vice President Joe Biden two years ago that Syria “would not be resolved in two years, or even more, and that the social situation, the political and population structure and the sensitive region make it difficult to predict the end of an armed conflict of such cruelty and ferocity.”

The prime minister, whose term ends in 2014, said that the rise in terrorism in Iraq is rooted in the rise of regional sectarianism and “directly related to the developments in the Syrian crisis and its repercussions on the Iraqi arena. We are very worried about the Syrian arena transforming into a field that attracts extremists, terrorists and sectarians from various parts of the world, gathering them in our neighborhood.”

Iraq's Prime Minister said he is "optimistic" about US-Iran ties and serious about preventing the flow of weapons to Syria.

Maliki said, "Our relationship with Turkey was stronger than our relationship with Iran." He added that Turkey “has been inclined to openly intervene in Iraq's affairs. This caused sectarian provocation, when [Ankara] stood with the Sunnis against Shiites. These cases have provoked the Iraqis and resulted in backlash against [Turkey]. We have asked the current Turkish government many times, both directly and indirectly, to go back on this approach. We still hope that Turkish officials will review their positions so that our relations can improve and grow.”

"We want good relations with all countries, especially neighboring countries. But we are doing what we can to form such relations based on shared interests, mutual respect and noninterference in internal affairs. When we find a country that has shared principles, our relationship grows and develops. This is how our relations begin with all countries of the world, including Iran and Turkey. We have a very developed relationship with Turkey, and it was stronger than our relationship with Iran. Until now, our commercial trade with Turkey has far exceeded that with Iran. But in recent years, the current Turkish government has been inclined to openly intervene in Iraq's affairs. [Turkey] intervened in the details of the political and electoral situation, and sometimes put its ties with political, partisan or nationalist parties before its ties with the Iraqi state and its legitimate institutions. This caused sectarian provocation, when [Ankara] stood with the Sunnis against Shiites. These cases have provoked the Iraqis and resulted in a backlash against [Turkey]. We have asked the current Turkish government many times, both directly and indirectly, to go back on this approach. We still hope that Turkish officials will review their positions so that our relations can improve and grow." Maliki said. 

Last Mod: 08 Ekim 2013, 14:24
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