Prime Minister Maliki to the United States: Have Patience With Us

The New York Times
Tue, Oct 29, 2013

by H.E. Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki

Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki penned an opinion piece in The New York Times on October 29, 2013, to discuss his upcoming meeting with President Obama; the state of the security situation in Iraq; and mutual interests among both the United States and Iraq.

H.E. Mr. Maliki reaffirmed that the United States is the security partner of choice for Iraq; and therefore seeks help from the U.S. to equip Iraqi forces with weapons they need to fight terrorism. Further, the Prime Minister acknowledged that terrorists are enemies of both Iraq and the United States. “That is why, when I meet with President Obama on Friday, I plan to propose a deeper security relationship between the United States and Iraq to combat terrorism and address broader regional security concerns, including the conflict in Syria and the threat that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons could pose in the region,” writes the Prime Minister.

Addressing the war in Syria, Prime Minister Maliki asserted that the Iraqi government is serious about not allowing its citizens to arm any side of the Syrian conflict. “Because we do not want Syria to continue to attract violent extremists, much less cause a regional conflagration, our top priority is to end the bloodshed and achieve a negotiated settlement,” said the Prime Minister. “We are committed to preventing the territory, the waterways and, yes, the airspace of our country from being used by any outside entity to fuel the conflict in Syria.”

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the progress made by Iraq to become a mature country with democratic institutions, but reiterated that Iraq is in need of more training, education, practice – and patience – from the United States. “We are on the road to security, democracy and prosperity. While we still have a long way to go, we want to walk that road together with the United States.”

To read the full piece from The New York Times, click here.