News / Middle East

    Iraqis Hope Kerry Visit Revitalizes Ties

    Iraqis Hope Kerry Visit Revitalizes Tiesi
    X
    March 25, 2013 12:48 AM
    Iraqis say they hope Sunday's visit to Baghdad by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will help revive ties they say have languished since the withdrawal of the last American troops more than one year ago. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Baghdad.
    Scott Bobb
    Iraqis say they hope Sunday's visit to Baghdad by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will help revive ties they say have languished since the withdrawal of the last American troops more than one year ago. 
     
    Iraqis reacted positively to the visit Sunday by Secretary of State John Kerry.  In Baghdad's Karada district, coffee-shop owner Raid Fahmi said stronger ties with the Americans would help Iraqis deal with their many problems.
     
    “The Iraqi people hope [the Americans] can bring better security, jobs, electricity, clean water, things like that," he said. 
     
    Singer Raed Fakher noted that there have been clashes between Sunnis and Shiites in parts of Iraq.  And bombings by Islamic extremists continue to kill Iraqi civilians.

    He was glad Kerry voiced concern over the violence.
     
    “The Americans can force Arab countries that are supporting the terrorists to stop their interference in Iraq.  And they have the power to do it," he said. 
     
    The U.S. withdrew the last of its combat troops from Iraq 15 months ago.  A reporter for Al-Mada newspaper, Sarmad al-Ta'ee, said Iraqis have not forgotten the abuses during the eight-year occupation.  But now, he says, U.S. involvement is needed to prevent abuses by the Iraqi government.
     
    “We have a million-man army that is armed with American weapons. Maybe we need some support in intelligence and information, but not the military. We want the Americans, now, back politically on the Iraqi scene," he said. 
     
    Kerry's visit was the first by an American secretary of state in four years.  Baghdad University Professor Muntasser Idani says the U.S. needs to re-engage with Iraq in order to balance growing influence by regional powers like Turkey and Iran. 
     
    “Iraqis do not receive signals about USA policy and international policy in Iraq.  And Iraqis see only Iranian signals in Iraq and Turkish signals in Iraq.  And this is very dangerous," he said. 
     
    He says more forceful U.S. diplomacy is also needed to address the Syrian conflict, which is aggravating Sunni-Shiite divisions across the Middle East.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Kinnison from: Idaho
    March 24, 2013 11:07 PM
    "Revitalize ties" is Iraqi-to-State-Department-speak for, "Perhaps the Americans will give us more money in foreign aid..."
    In Response

    by: RC from: Arizona
    March 25, 2013 12:58 PM
    @Kinnison

    Amen. It looks as though two Americans have figured this out right away! I wonder how long it will take our politicians to "get" this, too.

    Need better security? Stop killing each other.
    Need jobs? Work in the oil fields instead of giving the jobs to China.
    Need electricity? Build a power plant with your oil money.
    Need clean water? Build a filtration plant with your oil money.

    We need to invest in the U.S.A. and our people.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    March 25, 2013 12:56 PM
    Kinnison got the point straight. "Foreign Aid". Another name for it is slush fund - money set aside to bribe gullible heads of governments in gullible countries. It's a hook, a string used to glue corrupt officials to funds to keep them from doing the right things for their home governments and peoples and is used to fish them out when they stop playing according to their mentor's rule.

    China appears to be beating us in the game once again in using the slush fund - too bad the case of pipping around to detect abuse is not yet operational in China, hence they can give and take foreign bribe in broad daylight. But my fear is that Iraq may have been wiser than we think, in that they may want the money, playing the game of Oliver Twist asking for more while continuing their allegiance to their arabic and islamist cause. Just see it the way Pakistan has been playing it. Only Iraq does not have nuclear weapon to taunt USA with! Most of this foreign aid to neighbours of Iran is a waste of time and resources because the free flow of funds from China easily counteracts it, with their islamist agenda always in forefront to guide them.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora