Clinton urges Iraq to solve political crisis through compromise
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged Iraq to solve its ongoing political crisis through compromise and not to blow the opportunity of democracy, Xinhua reported.
Speaking at a town hall meeting at the State Department, Clinton admitted there was a lot of "political contention" in Iraq right now, adding that the American ambassador in Baghdad Jim Jeffrey was trying to convince Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, "not to blow this opportunity."
"This is an opportunity for the Iraqi people of all areas of Iraq, of all religious affiliation, of all backgrounds. This is an opportunity to have a unified Iraq, and the only way to do that is by compromising," she said.
"So I'm hoping that there will be a recognition of that, and such a tremendous potential to be realized," said Clinton, stressing that the political differences "cannot be ignored or mandated by authoritarianism" and must "be worked through the political process."
Last month, the political row erupted between Maliki and his political rivals in the Iraqiya bloc, as Maliki sought to arrest Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi on terror charges.
In addition, Maliki asked the parliament to sack his Sunni deputy Salih al-Mutlak after the latter called Maliki "a dictator" in an interview with CNN.
The latest development shows the growing struggle between Maliki's leading Shi'ite bloc and his political rivals to seize more power, after U.S. troops concluded their withdrawal from the war-torn country.