Iraqi Prime Minister Blames Al Qaeda for His Country’s Woes
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made an impassioned appeal for help to defeat al Qaeda during a speech Thursday before the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington.
Maliki, who will meet with President Obama on Friday to address security concerns, claimed that the terrorist group has grown strong again in his country because of the unstable situations in Syria and Libya, adding, “Extremism developed. Sectarianism developed.”
He admitted that it will take both the expertise and support of the U.S. to beat back the renewed threat posed by al Qaeda and its insurgent allies.
Meanwhile, Maliki denied accusations leveled by six U.S. senators that his “mismanagement” of government affairs has led to Sunnis becoming marginalized and thus spurring this year’s spike in violence that has claimed more than 5,300 lives.
According to the prime minister, “There is no problem between Sunnis and Shiites. It is al-Qaeda who is killing all the Iraqis.” Maliki also asserted he had “never, ever, stepped on the constitution” by trying to consolidate power.
The speech occurred before Maliki met with Vice President Joe Biden for two hours. A statement from the administration said, “The two spoke about the next steps in building a strong and enduring partnership between the United States and a unified, federal, and democratic Iraq.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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