News / Middle East

    Iraqi Ambassador: New Iraq Chooses Its Own Partners

    FILE - Lukman Faily, Iraq's Ambassador to Washington, speaking at the Brookings Institute, Sept. 18, 2013
    FILE - Lukman Faily, Iraq's Ambassador to Washington, speaking at the Brookings Institute, Sept. 18, 2013
    The Iraqi ambassador to the United States told VOA in an interview with the Persian News Network that his country chooses its own international partners in dealing with the al-Qaida insurgency.

    One week has passed since al-Qaida militants raised their flag over government buildings in Fallujah and declared an independent Islamic state.

    The White House has called on Congress to help provide aid to Iraq as soon as possible.

    And while Iraq appreciates current U.S. counterterrorism support, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S., Lukman Faily says the government is "going to the Russians as well" for military equipment, specifically helicopters.  This comes as the U.S. Congress deliberates President Barack Obama's latest request.

    Watch VOA interview with Iraqi ambassador to the U.S., Lukman Faily

    Voice of America Interview With Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Failyi
    X
    January 13, 2014 7:59 PM
    VOA's Persian service interviewed Iraqi ambassador to the United States Lukman Faily.

    "We are under no obligation to work with only one partner, whether it's Iranians, or Americans, or Russians or French," Faily said. "We have an urgency to counterterrorism."

    U.S. lawmakers have blocked approval of delivering Apache helicopters for months.  The lawmakers first want assurances the aid will not be used against Iraqi civilians in the politically-divided nation.  They also want to see Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stop allowing Iranian deliveries of military aid to Syria using Iraqi airspace.

    Faily counters that his country cannot prevent the influx of fighters entering Syria from Iraq.

    "If people go to some other country and then go to Syria, we can't control that.  But let's put it this way: has the government supported it?  No," he said.

    He told VOA he believes Iraq's position on Syria has remained more consistent than that of any other country in the Middle East.

    "We don't want to be a party to more violence in Syria and we know the Syrian situation, our brothers, they have to have a political process," he said. "We don't want to go and change regimes all over the place. That's not our job."

    Republican Party leaders, from House Speaker John Boehner to Senator John McCain, have criticized Obama's policies on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border.  Boehner said Thursday the president has not been sufficiently engaged on Iraq, instead designating those responsibilities to Vice President Joe Biden.  The White House has rejected that critique.  Boehner did not offer specifics on his criticism.

    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and Egypt.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora