JNN 29 Jan 2014 Baghdad : Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has again reiterated that he will not enter negotiations with terrorists, saying that crushing terrorists is one of the priorities of the current Iraqi government. At the same time he lashed out at neighboring Saudi Arabia for backing terrorist groups operating inside his country.
The remarks came on Friday during a commencement ceremony for an endowment center in Baghdad, where Maliki further added, “The government will not negotionte with terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), because these groups are not and will not be a negotiating side.”
The Iraqi prime minister also indicated that certain sides want the government to negotiate with armed groups and continue to “insist” on the need to begin such talks, “but should the government negotiate with terrorist gangs such as the ISIL?”
“Whichever side that is not opposed to terrorist groups, is not worthy of partnership in running the country’s affairs,” Maliki went on to stress.
The development comes as the Iraqi army has engaged in an extensive military operation in the al-Anbar province since December 21, 2013, to suppress the terrorists and al-Qaeda elements, in cooperation with ethnic and local police forces.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has lashed out at neighboring Saudi Arabia for backing terrorist groups operating inside his country.
“The current terrorism originates from Saudi Arabia,” Maliki said in a recent interview.
The Iraqi premier also criticized Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar and Turkey for sponsoring terrorism in neighboring Syria.
Earlier this month, Maliki informed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Riyadh must be held responsible for the recent wave of bloody terrorist attacks having claimed more than 800 lives in Iraq so far this month.
Additionally, in a speech in the southern city of Nasiriyah on January 19, Maliki stressed that Iraq is the target for some countries that are “backing terrorism, and backing evil.”
“The world has united with us,” Maliki added. “The [UN] Security Council, the European Union, and most Arab countries, except some diabolical treacherous countries.”
Violence has surged across Iraq in recent months, reaching its highest level since 2008.
In recent weeks, the country has been the scene of fighting between security forces and militants from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the western province of Anbar.
The clashes in Anbar broke out on December 30, 2013, when the army removed an anti-government protest camp in Ramadi. Authorities said the camp was used as “headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda.”
The bloodshed later spread to Fallujah and militants moved in and seized the city and parts of Ramadi.
In January, the Iraqi premier urged a global action against countries giving support to militants who operate against the Iraqi government, saying Baghdad is “fighting to defend the world, humanity and justice.”