Maliki slams Saudi interference in Iraq, Syria

Maliki slams Saudi interference in Iraq, Syria
Sat Apr 26, 2014 09:27:15

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has again blamed Saudi Arabia for sponsoring insurgency efforts in his country and neighboring Syria, saying the Persian Gulf state has "clearly interfered" in Syria and in Iraqi internal affairs.

Al-Maliki told BBC Arabic that he believed Saudi Arabia was facilitating the entry of foreign "mercenaries" into Iraq, deteriorating the persisting violence in the war-ravaged country.

Maliki said the violence in Syria was causing "security problems" in Iraq's Anbar province.

"Anyone who classes Iraq as a Shia state or system is wrong," Maliki further added.

Iraq has been going through a period of renewed violence in recent months, driven principally by widespread terrorism from extremists and by the foreign-hatched war in neighboring Syria.

He has previously said that claims of marginalization of Sunni sect originate from Takfiri groups with links to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, adding that "terrorists" were "flooding into Iraq from Syria".

He went on to say it was Iraq's "national, human duty" to "fight al-Qaeda in Syria" and rejected the idea that there was popular opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

He then insisted that "the alternative to the government in Syria is... terrorism and slaughter."

In the interview, he was asked whether Saudi Arabia was meddling in Iraq.

He said, "Clearly interference in Iraqi affairs. Whilst it's true that Saudi Arabia prohibited Saudi nationals from entering Iraq, it is possible to send non-Saudis. There are many Nigerian and Chadian mercenaries who are paid money to enter Iraq."

At the end of this month, Maliki is seeking a third consecutive term in office in a general election.

The parliamentary poll takes place with violence in Iraq reaching its highest level since the peak of the insurgency in the country from 2006 to 2008.


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