Iraq needs unity government, with or without Maliki: France

PARIS Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:02am EDT

Related Topics

PARIS (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday that Iraq needed a government of national unity, with or without Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, to counter a Sunni rebel insurgency.

Faulting Maliki for failing to ensure a more inclusive form of government, Fabius said it was critical now to better involve Sunni moderates to avoid them siding with what he described as the "terrorist group" ISIL, an al Qaeda splinter organization.

Pressed in a media interview to say whether Maliki should form the broader-ranging government which U.N. Security Council veto-holder France advocated, Fabius replied: "With or without Maliki, but what Iraq needs is a government of national unity."

Without such a change, Iraq risked being taken over by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al Qaeda splinter group that has already overrun the country's north of the country, Fabius told BFM TV in an interview.

"It's the first time a terrorist group is threatening to take control of an entire state," he said.

"I don't want to sensationalize but you've perhaps seen the videos where ISIL people play football with the heads of people they have just assassinated. If these people take control of Iraq you can imagine what that means."

U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he was sending up to 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq but he too urged Maliki to do more to heal the country's sectarian rift.

"We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in tens of thousands of troops and committing the kinds of blood and treasure that has already been expended in Iraq," Obama told reporters. "Ultimately, this is something that is going to have to be solved by the Iraqis."

(Reporting By Brian Love; editing by Mark John)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (7)
VincentVer wrote:
Might be a bit too late for that sadly. The French guy was right, at least Obama knows better than to make more mistakes. Hopefully Congress knows better this time too, or else things will only get worse knowing their incompetence. You don’t fight to throw a nation back into turmoil. You don’t fix your house to blow it up with C4. I guess the government didn’t know better. Just like Vietnam. What idiots, will they ever learn not to install corrupt dictators to fix things. Like that will last…they’ve only brought more bloodshed. Our fallen veterans, the refugees, they gave all for nothing. Just perfect (sarcasm).

Jun 20, 2014 6:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Neurochuck wrote:
Or scrap the Sykes-Picot wheeling-dealing map of the ex Ottoman Empire as a bad idea.
It’s ironic that the French Mandate of Syria recognized multiple ethnic/cultural states.
A Western fallback position is to promote an independent Kurdistan in Syria and Iraq, and lean on Turkey to accept this and continue rapproachment with Turkish Kurds to make them allies rather than enemies.
If Kurdistan keeps Kirkut oilfields with military/political/economic assistance, additional pipelines can carry oil and gas to Ceyhan for the EU market.

Jun 20, 2014 6:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
QuidProQuo wrote:
For all you enlightened and civilized western leaders of the world, get one thing straight- There is and will never be any form of UNITY governments in most Islamic nations. No matter who is elected they always have factious tribal warfare after a short period of time. Get it? Thy are NOT normal people. They do not understand how to debate without killing each other over differences of opinions. They cannot form governments based on diversity and tolerance. So just stop wasting your energy trying to use western intelligence and wisdom, it’s a fruitless endeavor. They are locked into a twisted mentality that should just remind us of how blessed we are to be where we are and what we are and that our nations are not founded on the divisive interpretations of a prophet called Mohammed. Just protect your own countries from these unevolved, unelightened brutal murderers of innocent souls and let them deal with the hell on earth they created for themselves. Love your own country and guide that country in gentile glory, prosperity, joy and peace. These things we value, cherish and nurture. Islamic Muslim tirbal warfare nations do not and so let us not focus our precious energies there only to be spit upon time and time again.

Jun 20, 2014 10:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus