UK's foreign secretary make surprise visit to Iraq

UK's foreign secretary make surprise visit to Iraq
Thu Jun 26, 2014 18:12:34

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has made a surprise visit to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad to urge authorities of the embattled country to unite in the face of a “mortal threat” from the foreign-sponsored ISIL terrorists.

Following his Thursday arrival in Baghdad, Hague intends to meet with several “Iraqi leaders” over the recent attacks against parts of the country by the well-armed Takfiri terrorists, according to a statement released by the Foreign Office.

In a meeting with Britain’s top diplomat on Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said a political solution as well as military advances against the Takfiri terrorists is required to overcome the persisting crisis in his country.

"We should proceed in two parallel tracks," Maliki told Hague, according to a statement released by the office of the Iraqi premier.
"The first one is work on the ground and military operations against terrorists and their gatherings and the second one is following up on the political process and holding a meeting of the parliament (on time) and electing a head of parliament and a president and forming the government,” Maliki added.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also made a surprise visit to Iraq on Monday, along with a contingent of US “military advisers” and met with a number of Iraqi authorities.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has voiced opposition against the presence of US military advisers in Iraq and issued a stern warning to the Takfiri terrorists there.

Sadr ruled out in Wednesday remarks any intervention by the United States in Iraq and pledged to stop assaults by the al-Qaeda-linked ISIL terrorists.

"We will shake the ground under the feet of ignorance and extremism as we did under those of the occupation," Sadr said in a televised speech from the holy city of Najaf.

The prominent cleric expressed opposition against US military advisers’ meeting with Iraqi commanders, adding that he would back "international support from non-occupying states for the army of Iraq."

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