News / Middle East

    Iraqi PM Hopes for New Government by Next Week

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, attends the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq,  July 1, 2014.
    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, attends the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, July 1, 2014.
    VOA News

    Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said on Wednesday that he hoped to overcome the challenges blocking the formation of a new government, a day after the new parliament's first session ended without agreement on top government posts.

    "A state of weakness occurred but God willing in the next session [planned for next Tuesday] we will overcome it with cooperation and agreement and openness… in choosing the individuals and the mechanisms that will result in a political process based on…  democratic mechanisms," said Maliki in his weekly televised address.

    Sunnis and Kurds abandoned the first meeting of the new parliament after Shi'ites failed to nominate a candidate for prime minister. The Shi'ite parties are deadlocked over Maliki's ambitions for a third term, and who would replace him.

    The new parliament adjourned Tuesday, with plans to meet one week later, if an agreement on posts was reached.

    Amnesty offered

    In what appeared to be a bid to peel away some of the extremist group's allies among Iraq's Sunni tribes, Maliki also offered an amnesty to tribes who fought the government, but excluded those who had "killed and shed blood."

    "I announce the offer of the amnesty pardon for all tribes and for all people who were involved in acting against state to return to their sanity, and they are welcome. We will not exclude anyone except those who killed and shed blood," Maliki said in his weekly address.

    The United States, United Nations, Iran and Iraq's own Shi'ite clergy have pushed hard for politicians to come up with an inclusive government to save the country after Sunni insurgents seized large stretches of territory north and west of Baghdad.

    President Barack Obama has been hesitant to send much military aid to Iraq for fear of dragging the U.S. into another years-long Mideast war.

    The White House has ruled out sending in combat troops, but this week sent 200 additional soldiers to Baghdad to help bolster the U.S. Embassy.

    The latest announcement will bring to nearly 800 the number of U.S. forces in Iraq.

    FILE - Shi'ite volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), take part in a military-style training in Basra, Iraq.FILE - Shi'ite volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), take part in a military-style training in Basra, Iraq.
    x
    FILE - Shi'ite volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), take part in a military-style training in Basra, Iraq.
    FILE - Shi'ite volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), take part in a military-style training in Basra, Iraq.

    Basra volunteers

    Also Wednesday, hundreds of Shi'ite volunteer fighters left the southern Iraqi city of Basra to take up arms and support the Iraqi army to prevent the advance of Sunni militants into the capital, Baghdad.

    The call to take up arms was organized by the 'Jihad and Construction Movement', an affiliate of the Shi'ite body, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI).

    Weapons-bearing volunteer fighters in military uniforms waited in queues to receive blessings from a local cleric, before boarding several coaches that were bound for the capital.

    Dagher al-Moussawi, the leader of the movement, said volunteers included former servicemen from the Iraqi army, as well as volunteers who had undergone military training.

    He said volunteer fighters were being dispatched to battlefronts in coordination with the Iraqi forces.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
    July 02, 2014 11:44 AM
    Nouri Al-Maliki should not be trusted,he is a Green Snake in a Green Grass and now acting like a White Snake in a White Sand, sooner or later he will find himself in the Green Grass as a White snack or a Green Snake in a White Sand.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 02, 2014 11:20 AM
    Maliki offers the exact same "US and EU peace plan" that Ukraine President Poroshenko offered the pro-Russian separatists, didn't he?.... Maliki needs the wisdom of King Solomon, and the courage of the Mongol hordes, if he wants to save Iraq from being destroyed....

    MY OPINION? ... The (3) major Sunni Muslim tribes in Iraq already swore, (in the name of Allah), the oath (Bay'ah) of allegiance to the (ISIL) "Emir of the Believers" and "The Caliph of all Muslims" al-Baghdadi, to obey, to serve, and submit, and not make war on him, as long as it does not disobey the laws of Allah... (NOW?)... Once the oath (Bay'ah) is given, how on earth can these Sunni Muslim tribes disobey, or make war on the (ISIL) Sunni Muslim Caliph of Islam al-Baghdadi?... The Sunni Muslim Iraqi politicians, and those in the Iraq army, owe their loyalty to the (ISIL) al-Baghdadi, and not to the Iraq Shia Muslim led government.... (in fact, the Sunni Muslims the Sunni politicians represent, are fighting with the (ISIL) against this Shia Muslim led Iraq government)....

    Maliki has very few choices, and all of them are bad, and it'll take the wisdom of King Solomon, and the courage of the Mongol hordes.... Either disarm the Sunni Muslims in the military, or segregate them from the Shia Muslims, who'll shoot the Shia Muslims in the back, (and do like the Mongol hordes did), lay siege to the cities and towns and completely destroy them to rubble, so you'll never have to fight in them again?.... WHATEVER you decide to do, don't listen to the advice given by those who arm and train your enemy.....

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora