US disagrees with Iraq’s ex-PM Maliki on Israel ‘being a terrorist threat’

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Former Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki. File photo

ARA News

Erbil – The US government said that the United States doesn’t agree with the statements of Iraq’s ex-PM Nouri al-Maliki calling Israel ‘a terrorist threat’ during his visit to Teheran last week.

Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s ex Prime Minister and current Vice President, has attacked the Kurdistan Region, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia at a press conference in Tehran last Wednesday, accusing them of land-grabbing, terrorism and danger to Middle East stability.

However, John Kirby, the spokesperson of the US State Department, said that they disagree with Maliki’s statement, and work with the government of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

“We certainly don’t agree with the sentiment that Israel is a terrorist threat. I mean, that just flies in the face of fact. And I’m not going to try to characterize everything he said. It’s for him to speak to,” Kirby said.

“Look, Iraq’s got lots of neighbors, and many of those neighbors are involved in efforts in Iraq to counter Daesh [ISIS]. Iran is one of those countries. And what we’ve said many times before still holds today: We understand that Iraq’s neighbors would be interested in the security situation in Iraq – whether it’s Turkey, Iran or Jordan,” he added.

“And all we require is that those nations who are going to be thus involved, that they do it in a way that supports the legitimate, democratically elected government in Baghdad, and does so also in a way that doesn’t inflame sectarian tensions,” Kirby said.

“Prime Minister Abadi is the one who approves whether or not there are foreign troops on his soil and what they’re doing. And that’s the way it should be; it’s a sovereign state,” he stated.

Iraq’s former leader Maliki has continued to undermine the government of Abadi after he stepped down in August 2014 when ISIS took Mosul and large parts of Sunni provinces in Iraq under his leadership.

Iraq’s former prime minister is trying to undermine Washington’s push for a more inclusive government in Baghdad and has inflamed sectarian tensions in the past. Maliki also backs the Shia majority paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) that have been accused of human rights abuses against the Sunni population of Iraq.

Amnesty International on Thursday accused the PMU of committing war crimes, revenge attacks and other atrocities and asked the international community and Iraqi government to stop arming militias involved in war crimes.

“The Iraqi authorities have helped to arm and equip the PMU militias and pay their salaries – they must stop turning a blind eye to this systematic pattern of serious human rights violations and war crimes,” said Patrick Wilcken, Researcher on Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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