Certain regional states seek Iraq breakup: Maliki
Iraq’s Vice President Nouri al-Maliki has warned that certain Middle Eastern states are pursuing an agenda to break up his violence-torn country.
Certain regional states are determined about having Iraq disintegrated but will face strong and explicit opposition from the people of the Arab country, Iraq’s al-Sumaria satellite TV network quoted Maliki as saying on Saturday.
A former prime minister of Iraq, Maliki stressed that Iraqis are firm to defend the territorial integrity and unity of their country, highlighting that Iraq’s Sunni community is also against the segregation of the Arab state.
He also said that his country still faces problems and shortages amid efforts by Iraqi army troops, backed by volunteer forces, to uproot terrorism.
Divisive US bill
The remarks came as a controversial US Congress bill has been drafted, proposing the division of Iraq into three states and allows the Kurdish forces and the Sunni tribesmen to be armed directly without Baghdad’s approval.
The draft of the US annual defense bill, which was released on April 27 by the House Armed Services Committee, urges the US government to recognize separate Kurdish and Sunni states and provide them with at least 25 percent of the USD 715-million aid planned to be given to the Iraqi government to help it fight the ISIL terrorist group.
The draft bill also says the figure could even amount to 60 percent of the money, about USD 429 million.
The draft bill has faced vehement opposition from Iraqi officials.
Earlier this month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi held a phone conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden and expressed concern over the bill.
Influential Iraqi Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, has also warned the US Congress against passing the controversial bill.