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

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.